Low Income Countries Lack Access to Radiotherapy

RadiotherapyNearly 90 per cent of the people in low income countries lack access to radiotherapy treatment, which detects an inextricable part of cancer care, a research stated.

The research estimated that optimal radiotherapy access in low and middle-income countries by 2035 could save an estimated 26.9 million life years for patients who currently lack access to care.

“Radiotherapy is a crucial and inseparable part of cancer care,” said study co-author Timothy Hanna from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.

“Globally, there is a major shortfall in access to radiotherapy. Our report found that expanding radiotherapy access in low and middle-income countries would save millions of lives, result in substantial economic benefits to nations,” Hanna noted.

Hanna and colleagues developed a method to measure the treatment benefits of guideline-based radiotherapy programmes.

They found that globally in 2012, with optimal radiotherapy access, more than 580,000 people would derive a survival benefit from radiotherapy.

By 2035, projections suggest substantial increases, with over 950,000 people deriving a survival benefit from global access to radiotherapy.

Improving access to radiotherapy in low and middle-income countries could be achieved by 2035 with an investment of $184 billion, the report projected.

Despite the high estimated cost, the predicted net economic benefits reaped from the lives saved could reach between US $278 billion and US $365 billion, said the study published in the journal Lancet Oncology.

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