Research Topic

World Cancer Day 2021: A Retrospective

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Cancer accounts for millions of deaths every year, and the burden of this disease is striking - testing our families, health-care systems, economies, and our scientists. In recent years, the outstanding work of researchers and vast improvements in technology, has led to remarkable strides in progress. We

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Cancer accounts for millions of deaths every year, and the burden of this disease is striking - testing our families, health-care systems, economies, and our scientists. In recent years, the outstanding work of researchers and vast improvements in technology, has led to remarkable strides in progress. We are now able to prevent at least one third of cancers and have adapted routine-screening techniques for early detection and effective treatment. Our ability to treat and manage this shape-shifting disease has also transformed, as we have developed sophisticated therapies and adopted more tailored approaches. As a result, survival rates are reaching new highs each year, and the outlook for those affected is improving. However, there are still areas that require our attention.

 

Unfortunately, inequalities are well known in the field. In areas where resources are scarce and outreach is limited, cancer patients do not have access to educational programs, timely diagnosis and quality treatment. Significant knowledge-gaps also exist within cancer research, with many minority populations being underrepresented in clinical trials and underreported within the literature. Considering that scientific progress relies on the publication and dissemination of research, the lack of access to primary literature also falters, with many breakthroughs hidden behind paywalls. This not only affects clinicians and researchers, reinforcing a negative feedback-loop for researchers already struggling to obtain sufficient funding, but inhibits the next generation of curious students.

 

Each year, February 4th marks World Cancer Day; a movement dedicated to channeling awareness, education, and unity into collective initiatives and global action against one of medicine’s toughest challenges. The theme of 2021, “I Am and I Will” was one of power, encouraging commitment and togetherness; a sentiment resonating in today’s turbulent world. In honor of this day Frontiers in Oncology has invited a retrospective of articles from our Specialty Chief Editors, highlighting current, international challenges in their corresponding fields of oncology. Our goal is to empower continuous discussion between communities and across borders, drawing attention to the disparities faced in the field. Our achievements should be shared to maximize impact and facilitate opportunities worldwide. We know that cancer does not discriminate. So, neither should we.

 

We also take this opportunity to thank the wider community for their continued efforts in allowing for accelerated scientific developments, and most importantly for working with us on our mission to make science open. 


Keywords: world cancer day, diversity, inclusion, equity, oncology


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