How we can help to #CloseTheCareGap on #WorldCancerDay2024

This year’s theme for World Cancer Day is “Close the Care Gap”. It highlights the need for equitable access to comprehensive cancer care. A critical component of this is ensuring the availability and effectiveness of rehabilitation in cancer care, which is vital for improving patient outcomes and enhancing the quality of life. Educate yourself and your community this World Cancer Day.

There were 19.3 million new cancer cases in 2020. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people will develop cancer in their lifetime. The disparity in cancer rehabilitation services is a major global issue. Research indicates that a large proportion of cancer patients could benefit from rehabilitation, yet only a small number actually receive these services. This issue is particularly acute in low- and middle-income countries, where access to cancer rehabilitation is even more limited​​. 

Understanding the critical role of rehabilitation in cancer care is essential if we are to “Close the Care Gap”. Comprehensive rehabilitation services are instrumental in helping cancer patients. A decrease in physical fitness has been reported by patients during and after a cancer diagnosis. Including activities that focus on regaining strength, improving physical fitness and training balance can help people achieve independence. And rehabilitation goes beyond physical interventions, support and education are also vital elements of closing the care gap.

At Physiopedia, our mission is to improve global health by bridging this gap. We are committed to sharing rehabilitation knowledge. By educating and raising awareness, we can contribute to improving the understanding and skills to help improve cancer care and outcomes. We believe in building a global community that shares best practices and evidence-based strategies in cancer rehabilitation. This community-driven approach is key to integrating rehabilitation into standard cancer care, thus improving access and quality of care for cancer patients globally. By working together, we can foster a more inclusive approach to cancer care that goes beyond just treatment interventions but embraces a holistic approach to recovery and improved quality of life.

This World Cancer Day is a call to unite to challenge those in power, raise our voices for change, and take meaningful actions to ensure everyone, everywhere, has equal access to cancer care. We can all make a difference by educating ourselves and our communities about cancer signs and symptoms, urging health professionals to prioritise early detection and accurate diagnosis, and advocating for policymakers to integrate these strategies into national health systems for broader impact. Learn more about World Cancer Day and access hundreds of learning resouces here.