This year’s World Cancer Day‘s theme, “Close the Care Gap”, is all about making sure leaders know that a commitment to prioritising cancer is needed. A commitment to creating innovative strategies designed to confront inequity and to investing resources to achieve a just and cancer-free world. It is urgent to address the inequities that hinder equitable cancer treatment and prevention.
As the world celebrates World Cancer Day we, at ECHoS, want to reaffirm our collective commitment to empowering the fight against cancer and bridging the disparities in access to quality care. In ECHoS, we are on our way to produce models and guidelines for the creation of sustainable National Cancer Mission Hubs, structures envisaged to break silos and create bridges within and beyond the health care, research, and innovation triangle. Open discussion forums for citizens must be created that echoes the needs of those suffering from cancer, namely patients, families, friends, and caregivers. We already have too many reasons, we don’t need one more.
To support closing the care gap, we must empower individuals, communities, and healthcare systems with available knowledge and tools such as:
- World Health Organization (WHO) provides comprehensive information on cancer prevention, screening, and early detection guidelines.
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides the OECD’s Country Health Profiles, a key element of the European Commission’s State of Health in the EU cycle, as well as the recently published Beating Cancer Inequalities in the EU.
- European Cancer Information System (ECIS) provides the latest information on indicators that quantify cancer burden across Europe, to support public-health decision-making and to serve as a point of reference and information for European citizens.
- European Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Cancer (KCC) provides evidence-based information to foster scientific and technical coordination of EU activities on cancer, while expanding the EU’s capacities and systems for prevention, early detection, treatment, and care.
- Joint Research Centre that includes the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway, a reference point for public health policy makers, providing them with reliable, independent and up-to date information on topics related to health promotion and disease prevention.
- World Cancer Day resources, including how to be an advocate, get the media talking, talk about cancer and organise an event.
These resources provide valuable information and support for individuals and communities affected by cancer. By empowering ourselves with knowledge and advocating for equitable access to care, we can collectively work towards closing the cancer care gap.