Inequality is present in most aspects of life, but in the global fight against cancer the stark difference between industrialised countries and developing nations in their ability to diagnose and treat the disease, is a matter of life and death. Most new cancer cases today occur in low- and middle-income countries, and COVID-19 has further strained the capacities of health infrastructure. Strengthening these health systems is key in the global fights against both cancer and COVID-19.
Marking this year’s World Cancer Day on 4 February, the IAEA held a panel discussion, exploring the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on cancer care globally and the support provided by the IAEA to radiotherapy practitioners worldwide. Panelists called for more and urgent action to address the wide gap in diagnosis and therapy access between developed and developing countries.