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Report Calls For Cancer-Specific Global Fund To Curb Increasing Rates In Developing Countries

“A global fund is needed to curb ballooning cancer rates in poor nations, where malignancies already kill more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to a report by a coalition of researchers” presented at the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam on Monday, Bloomberg reports (Bennett, 9/30). “In a report on how rates of cancer diagnosis and death are rising across the world while access to diagnosis and treatment is extremely patchy, experts described the economics of the problem as daunting and current financing models as broken,” Reuters writes (9/30). “Cancer is already the biggest drain on the global economy, and costs $895 billion a year in lost productivity alone, the American Cancer Society estimated in 2010,” according to Bloomberg. “By 2030, there will be about 26 million new cases of cancer a year worldwide, compared with 12.7 million in 2008, and most new cases will be in developing nations, according to [the] 500-page report,” the news agency adds.

“‘The big problem is that in the low-resource countries, patients present with advanced disease,’ said Peter Boyle, who led the coalition and is president of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France,” Bloomberg notes (9/30). “In poorer countries, Boyle said, where equipment, expertise and medicines for cancer are scarce and sometimes non-existent, the increasing burden of the disease threatens to cause ‘devastating damage to entire families,'” Reuters adds. “Boyle, who is also director of the Institute of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University, cited 2009 estimates by the Economist Intelligence Unit that it would cost $217 billion a year to bring cancer diagnosis, care and treatment in poor countries up to the standards of wealthy nations,” the news service writes (9/30).