Deliverance of timely, affordable, safe and equitable global cancer surgery

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In a session chaired by Richard Sullivan (UK) and organised by Institute of Cancer Policy (UK) / The Lancet Oncology (UK), a group of prominent global leaders in global surgery came together to address issues related to the deliverance of timely, affordable, safe and equitable global cancer surgery. 

Groesbeck Parhamm, MD, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and University of Zambia, Lusaka, encouraged the audience to look at our health care systems into the seams and to create pathways for planning integrating surgical intervention, within existing and already deployed systems. He also pointed out to leaders in the medicine industry, as key players who can create pathways for training aspiring leaders, “We must advocate and train leaders to change some of the social determinants of diseases and to challenge the injustice of the health care system, which leads to health diseases.” In his final call to action, he encouraged the audience to understand advocacy and community education as central means for creating healthy environments and to reduce modifiable risk factors.

The question of risk factors was also addressed by another global leader, Shailesh V. Shrikhande, from Mumbai. In his presentation on the regionalisation and centralisation of complex cancer surgeries in India, he stressed that detailed reporting about cancer is vital. Indeed, it is the lack of reporting that leads to cancer mortality in India, and, as he said, “If you need to address a problem, you need to know what the problem is”.

Article contributed by Medine Duvarci