The 4th of February is not just another Tuesday. It marks World Cancer Day. A day especially dedicated to the disease that affects so many of us, all over the world, every day. This year, World Cancer Day focuses on "debunking the myths". A topic so complex, yet so often discussed in the news, amongst friends and families is bound to be subject to myths and faulty assumptions. The World Cancer Day 2014 website mentions a few, relating to signs and symptoms, and access to cancer care.
But, what are the facts? In the European Region, 20% of deaths are caused by cancer. There are more than 3 million new cases of cancer, and 1.7 million deaths every year, making cancer the second most important cause of death among Europeans.
Here at Lilly, we have been working in oncology for more than four decades. Colleagues across the globe are truly dedicated to deliver innovative solutions that improve the care of people living with cancer. No two cancer patients are alike, and therefore we are committed to developing novel treatment approaches. One of the Lilly oncology-focused initiatives is the Patient Access to Cancer Care Excellence initiative, or: PACE. The initiative focuses on the way public policies can accelerate development of new medicines by supporting innovation and putting patients' needs first. Findings of the PACE survey provided interesting insights into perceptions of cancer. The study looked at various elements including patients involvement in medicines and clinical trials, confidence in healthcare systems, and the costs of developing medicines. When asked about the current economic climate, respondents answered they were concerned about this hindering cancer research.
This may not be painting the brightest picture, but it is all the more inspiring to see that joining hands, across Europe and worldwide, can make a difference and give countless cancer patients the voice they deserve. We need to work in partnership to ensure we have the right environment and conditions in Europe for continued research and innovation for novel treatment approaches.
Follow the developments online via #WorldCancerDay and #WCD14