The Global Challenge of Cancer Governance

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The global cancer statistics are stark, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, around one in six of all deaths globally. WHO estimates that 70% of these cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and cancer will continue to rise as a proportion of deaths in these settings. We may usefully characterize cancer as a ‘social mess’, a set of interrelated problems and other messes including poverty and social determinants of health. One part of cancer’s ‘messiness’ is the governance deficit around cancer burden and regional inequities.

This policy paper assesses the field of global oncology governance and the interplay of legal instruments, soft law, national developments, donor activities, as well as partnerships, networks and coalitions. Cancer governance is central to tackling cancer inequalities.

Continuing to probe the complexities of cancer governance requires attention to market mechanisms, international agreements, soft power, political will power, partnerships, collaborations and networks, and patient participation. Governance is inseparable from ‘paradigmatic’ framings and cancer must be seen as a human rights issue.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Medical & Health Policy
Early online date27 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jun 2023

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