Inside Story

Why are the poor losing fight against cancer?

WHO report notes ‘unacceptable’ treatment gap between the poor and the rich nations.

Most of us probably know someone affected by cancer.

However, your chance of beating the disease depends greatly on where you live.

The World Health Organization is marking World Cancer Day by highlighting what it calls the “unacceptable inequalities” between rich and poor nations.

It says cancer services are available in the public health systems of nine out of 10 wealthy countries. Compare that to less than 15 percent – or one in seven – low-income countries.

Poorer people are less likely to know about cancer risks, and can’t afford the high costs of treatment.

So what can be done to bridge the gap?

Presenter: Nick Clark


Andre Ilbawi – Technical officer of cancer control at the World Health Organization

Nitesh Rohatgi – Oncologist and associate director of medical oncology at Max Healthcare, Delhi

Cary Adams – Chief executive of the Union for International Cancer Control