World Cancer Day: Closing the gap in cancer care

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

By Mayo Clinic staff

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center joins the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and other organizations, governments and people from around the world, in celebrating World Cancer Day on Feb. 4. This day is dedicated to closing the equity gap in cancer care.

"World Cancer Day is focused on raising awareness about reducing inequities in cancer care at home and around the world," says Folakemi Odedina, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic cancer researcher and global health equity expert. "Mayo Clinic stands with the UICC and other institutions in taking steps to raise awareness about these inequities and in taking steps to improve access to care that will reduce disparities in cancer outcomes."

Access to resources and social determinants of health often constitute many of the barriers to equitable care around the world, according to the Union for International Cancer Control. Dr. Odedina says developing person-centered and inclusive public health policies that consider the specific needs of different populations based on ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, geographical location, education and income will be key to improving outcomes for all people with cancer.

"Technological innovations, such as digital health, may also play an important role in providing better access to cancer care if they are used more widely," says Dr. Odedina. "At Mayo Clinic, we are working on ways to deliver health care remotely that may provide a model for improving access to cancer treatment in remote areas of the United States and around the world."

Dr. Odedina says more widely accessible cancer treatment would not only save countless lives, but also lead to improved health equity that could strengthen families and communities, and benefit economies through greater workforce participation.

"Individuals, communities and organizations must come together to break down barriers. Closing the care gap in cancer care is good for everyone," says Dr. Odedina.

Learn more

Watch a video of Dr. Odedina and members of her research team explaining why they want to close the cancer care gap:

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