Monday, 13 September 2021 - 16:00

Special Focus Dialogue: Ensuring access to radiotherapy services | UICC


Ensuring access to radiotherapy services - Challenges and barriers to accessing radiotherapy and the need for integrative and collaborative approaches


Radiotherapy is an essential intervention for the treatment and care of the most common cancers globally, including cervical, breast, colorectal, head and neck cancers. On average, radiotherapy is recommended for more than 50% of cancer patients. Furthermore, radiotherapy also offers immense value for people living with cancer, through the provision of palliative care and pain relief.

Access to radiotherapy is limited, especially in resource limited settings. As many as nine out of 10 people in low-income countries (LICs) cannot access radiotherapy services. And although a crucial component in cancer treatment and care, radiotherapy is frequently the last resource to be considered during the planning and building of treatment capacity. The barriers to access are many and include challenges in health systems infrastructure, issues with procurement of equipment needed and lack of an adequate and trained health workforce.

In order to address effective and comprehensive cancer control, access to radiotherapy should be a priority. Countries should move towards strengthening the management of cancer, which includes scaling up of resources for the inclusion of radiotherapy services. Efforts must be made to address access barriers to radiotherapy to ensure equitable and quality access globally.

This Special Focus Dialogue explored and discussed:

  • The importance of radiotherapy in cancer control and the current status globally 
  • The various barriers and challenges to access
  • Integrative and collaborative solutions, taking into consideration the context and perspective of low- and middle-income settings


  • Danielle Rodin, Radiation Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and UICC Board member (Chair of the session)
  • Darien Montgomerie, Radiation Therapist and Site Manager, Bowen Icon Cancer Centre (Icon Group)
  • Anna Pamela Britten, MD, Director of Medical Affairs, Elekta
  • Patrick Kupelian, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Varian
  • Soehartati Gondhowiardjo, Radiation Oncologist and Senior Consultant, Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia


Event Information

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
Date and time

Virtual event - online
1202 Geneva

Last update

Thursday 13 July 2023

Share this page