Without additional investment in childhood cancer care, more than 11 million children will die from cancer over the next 30 years, according to the Lancet Oncology Commission on Sustainable Care for Children with Cancer. The vast majority of deaths (84%) will be in low and lower-middle-income countries.
Improving care for children with cancer worldwide will bring a triple return on investment and prevent millions of needless deaths, the Commission says.
Authored by 44 of the world’s leading oncologists, paediatricians, global health experts, and economists, the landmark report synthesises existing evidence with new modelling and economic analyses. Demonstrating that with investment in expanding worldwide coverage of achievable cost-effective interventions and strengthening health systems, millions of children’s lives could be saved, with huge economic benefits that far exceed the costs.
“For too long, there has been a widespread misconception that caring for children with cancer in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is expensive, unattainable, and inappropriate because of competing health priorities. Nothing could be further from the truth", says Professor Rifat Atun, Co-chair of the Commission.
“The time is right for a global push to expand coverage of care for children with cancer,” he said.