Book your free demo today! Call us on 0800 0789333 or book online

Closing the cancer care gap

“We call on you, whoever and wherever you are, to play your part in creating a cancer-free world.”

That call to action was issued by the organisers of World Cancer Day 2023 which took place on 4th February. Commenting that every individual has the ability to make a difference, whether large or small, the event’s organisers believe that when people work together they can make real progress in reducing the global impact of cancer.

This in fact is the second of a three year campaign which looks to inspire change and mobilise action. In 2022 the focus was on understanding the problems faced by those looking to identify and deliver global cancer care. It asked for minds to be opened and assumptions to be challenged. This year the focus has moved on to uniting voices, building collaborations and suggesting actions which can take the fight against cancer forward. And in the spirit of inclusivity those actions could be as simple as offering to take a neighbour to a treatment centre or takins steps to ensure that people are able to have a balanced diet.

Why is this campaign so important? How could this call for everyone to act in order to close the gap in cancer care make a difference? Well, in recent years the story of cancer diagnosis and care has been a bit of a bad news/good news scenario. On the one hand, according to Macmillan Cancer Support the incidence of cancer in the UK has risen by 39% since 2002. However, the cancer charity say that some of this rise can be put down to an aging population. They also point out that average cancer survival rates have risen from one year in the 1970s to around ten years currently.

Interestingly, Macmillan also cite improvements in diagnostic initiatives and increased public awareness as potential reasons for the growth in cancer diagnoses. To put it simply, the greater the awareness, the more that cancers are being spotted early, leading to improved survival rates.

This again is why the challenge sent out by World Cancer Day is so important. The more that individuals and health practitioners are aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer, the more likely it is that early interventions become possible. This is also where making use of technologies such as digitising patient records can make a difference, helping health practitioners to spot trends or to follow up on comments or observations from earlier appointments.

Just to take a couple of simple examples, a physiotherapist might notice unexpected bruising during a treatment or a patient might comment that they seem to bruise more easily than before. This bruising might be down to age or a lack of vitamin K but it also might be a sign of blood cancers. Similarly, the recent Covid epidemic may have left us more aware of people coughing but if a patient mentions that their cough has gone on for several weeks or a health practitioner sees from their records that the patient was also coughing at an earlier appointment then it could be a sign of lung cancer. In either of these situations a recommendation to get a check up by a GP might just lead to an early diagnosis which could help to save someone’s life.

Contact us today to discover how Clinic Appointments can help your clinic. Book your free demo call now to learn more.