Caring for cancer

Countries are not doing as well as they could in the battle against cancer, according to Cancer Care: Assuring Quality to Improve Survival. Cancer remains one of the leading health care challenges in all OECD countries, where more than 5 million new cases are diagnosed every year. 

Indeed, the disease is responsible for more than a quarter of all deaths and, in terms of potential life years lost, is a bigger problem than heart attacks and strokes for both men and women.

Yet, an estimated one-third of cases could be cured if detected on time and properly treated, and another third could be prevented entirely if more far-reaching public health measures were in place. The condition currently consumes around 5% of all health care costs. The increasing incidence of cancer, prolonged survival, and high costs of new drugs and technologies mean that spending on the disease is likely to increase even further. But governments aren’t the only ones taking a financial hit. Cancer patients and those who care for them also bear significant financial and social costs. Once these are taken into account, the global economic impact of premature death and disability from cancer is around US$900 billion, larger than that for heart disease.

The characteristics of good clinical cancer care are well established. They include early detection, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and palliative care. But preventive strategies are also vital. A holistic approach, including psychosocial support and effective communication between clinical teams, patients and carers, is critical.

How can policymakers design a cancer care system to ensure that high-quality care is consistently available to all cancer patients? How can they ensure that the quality of care is continuously improving?

While some countries are lagging behind in cancer care performance, other countries’ survival and mortality rates suggest that they have designed care systems that make them global leaders in the fi ght against cancer. Cancer Care: Assuring Quality to Improve Survival aims to share best practices, spur on health care reform and improve cancer care performance.

ISBN : 9789264181052 

See www.oecd.org/health/health-systems/ and www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Focus-on-Health_Cancer-Care-2013.pdf

©OECD Observer No 297, Q4 2013




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Editor's choice

  • Events at the OECD: Click on the image to get the full calendar.
  • [VIDEO] Although many countries have made great progress in narrowing gender gaps in education, new challenges are looming.
  • 5 things you might not know about the state of Amazonas. The World Bank identifies the main colossal challenges Brazil's biggest state is facing.
  • Gender mainstreaming: French young lady working in an engine assembly plant. Women and men on the same boat when it comes to job insecurity. © Raphaël Helle / Signatures / La France VUE D'ICI
  • The Asian Development Bank together with the International Labour Organization challenge the concept of women's work in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Gender wage gap
  • Visit the OECD Gender Data Portal. Selected indicators shedding light on gender inequalities in education, employment and entrepreneurship.
  • Composite leading indicators
  • 2015, a year full of dangers? Laurent Bossard, director of the Sahel and West Africa Club, acknowledges that the situation in the region is complex and unstable but refuses to give in to fatalism.
  • The 5th Anti-corruption conference for G20 governments and business in Istanbul on 6 March will address how all businesses can play their part in contributing to growth and investment, and can operate with clean hands in a safe environment.
  • Success story. Discover the story of this young Ethiopian woman who launched a successful business in the footwear industry and became a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Entrepreneurship.
  • Transports in Asia. The Asian Development Bank advocates sustainable transport in a continent where vehicle ownership is perceived as a sign of social success.
  • Vote for your favourite photograph! This World Bank #EachDayISee photo contest aims to display visual stories from all over the world through which people express what they would like to see changed and improved.
  • Why is investment so low in the euro area? This short IMF blog post gives you an insight into the causes of the euro-zone's drastic decline in investment.
  • Have your say! The UN wants to know what matters most to you: pick six global issues in the list and send it to the United Nations.
  • Tim Harcourt Video
  • G20 and Australia: Bestselling economist Tim Harcourt speaks to the BBC about how Australia has gone from "Down Under to Down Wonder".
  • Clear air and healthy lungs: how to better tackle air pollution. From New Delhi to Accra, millions of people breathe polluted air. A new report examines the World Bank’s experience working to improve air quality.
  • The boring secret of great cities. Plenty of things make a city great but what really makes a difference originates in the structure of municipal government according to the OECD's report "The Metropolitan Century".
  • Guinea gets $37.7 million in extra IMF financing to help combat Ebola
  • World Water Day: 22 March 2015 For World Water Day, UN-Water identifies upcoming challenges and sets the theme for the years to come. In 2015, the theme for World Water Day is Water and Sustainable Development.

Most Popular Articles

Subscribe Now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive print editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Poll

What issue are you most concerned about in 2015?

Euro crisis
Unemployment
Global warming
International conflict
Other

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2015