The incidence of cancer is increasing, and the growing demand for high-quality cancer care poses a major challenge to healthcare systems. One critical component of cancer care is too often left on the sidelines: radiotherapy.
Radiotherapy is a safe and highly effective cancer treatment, which allows specialists to precisely target and destroy tumour cells. It can be used on its own, or to complement or enhance the effects of other treatments such as surgery. There is evidence that 40% of all cancers cured are eliminated by radiotherapy.
Despite this, misconceptions about radiotherapy prevail and it remains underused across Europe. It is recommended as part of treatment for more than half of all cancer patients, yet at least a quarter of those who need radiotherapy don’t receive it. There is an urgent need to address this gap in usage and improve access to radiotherapy.
If, by 2035, every cancer patient who needs radiotherapy receives it, almost 1 million more lives will be saved around the world every year.