4th February, New Delhi: Integrated and comprehensive strategies, engaging all stakeholders in place of a siloed approach along with a focus on palliative care and preventive lifestyle, is the need of the hour in cancer care and management, observed experts at the 4th Edition of the Cancer Summit, titled “Uniting Voices and Taking Action” organized by IHW Council and RAPID Global Cancer Alliance on the eve of World Cancer Day.
The focus of the Summit was to deliberate on some of the challenges related to India’s optimum cancer care and to enhance the present healthcare system. The 4th edition of the Cancer Summit 2023 brought together government representatives, leading medical professionals, lawmakers, social activists, patient advocacy groups, and cancer survivors to provide their perspectives on important topics, innovative solutions, and the various strategies to educate people about cancer and build a favourable environment for cancer control, diagnosis, and management.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr GK Rath, EX-Head, National Cancer Institute & Chief, DRBRAIRCH, Professor, Radiation Oncology, AIIMS remarked, “Some of the challenges communities encounter in obtaining services for cancer prevention and early detection might be resolved by equipping primary healthcare professionals with essential cancer knowledge, skills and information.” He also emphasised on a preventive and healthy lifestyle.
The World Cancer Day, which is observed annually on 4th February, aims to address one of the biggest problems facing humanity: the growing burden of cancer worldwide. The theme this year “Close the Care Gap” is centred on equity and accessibility. The 4th Edition of the Cancer Summit was “Uniting our voices and taking action,” the year 2023 is about bringing together people and organisations, activists, and policymakers, to demand change and take action.
“Identifying models of healthcare that prioritize universal health coverage and protect cancer patients against incurring a financial burden holds the key to truly equitable and accessible cancer care. These models will ensure that every patient, regardless of their ability to pay, can access the treatments they need and receive the best possible care”, noted Mr. Madan Gopal, Senior Consultant – Health, NITI Aayog.
In the present scenario, despite remarkable advancements in medical technology and health infrastructure, cancer rates are still rising, necessitating a review, and upgradation of current approaches of disease prevention and management. The Summit tried to address these concerns with four broad sessions, each moderated by distinguished figures with a diverse set of expertise in cancer care with a focus on management of cancer care ecosystem.
Mr Kamal Narayan, CEO, IHW Council, who unveiled the recently launched platform RAPID Global Cancer Alliance stated, “The Cancer Summit this year focused on the most crucial cancer aspects for a comprehensive discussion centred on equitable care delivery and collaboration. Through this event and our dedicated cancer platform, we hope to not only take forward our global cancer advocacy but also gather the top oncology specialists, patient activists, industry professionals and policy makers in these uncertain times, and work across sectors to optimize advances in cancer care delivery. Although cancer continues to pose as a challenge to the country, we must confront it with collaboration, vision, and passion.”
The day-long event came to a close with the “Cancer Care Awards” to value and celebrate the contributions made by private & government organisations, cancer care associations, professionals and individuals across the ecosystem who are working hard to provide comprehensive cancer care through breakthrough innovations.