Majority of cancer patients lack access to safe, affordable surgery

Washington: A new study has revealed that over three-quarters of people with cancer worldwide have no access to safe surgery.

Lead Commissioner Richard Sullivan of the King’s College London said that with many competing health priorities and substantial financial constraints in many low- and middle-income countries, surgical services for cancer were given low priority within national cancer plans and were allocated few resources.

The study suggests that less than one in twenty patients in low-income countries and only roughly one in five patients in middle-income countries can access even the most basic cancer surgery.

Survival data across Europe shows that many of the poorer European Union member states are not delivering high quality cancer surgery to their populations.

According to John Meara of the Harvard Medical School, lack of effective action to train more cancer surgeons and improving cancer surgical systems could cost the global economy more than USD 6 trillion between now and 2030.

The Commission also revealed that a third of people with cancer in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) who have a surgical procedure will incur financial catastrophe, costs that drive them into poverty and another quarter will stop treatment because they cannot afford it.

The authors concluded that radical action was needed to train general surgeons to deliver basic cancer surgery, produce more gynaecological and surgical oncologists, and create more high quality surgical training programmes.

Also, improving access to better regulated public systems; growing international partnerships between institutions and surgical societies and a firm commitment to universal health coverage.

The study was published in the Journal Lancet Oncology. (ANI)