The Global Burden and Medtech Opportunity in Cancer.

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Author: Maria Shepherd
Date: Sept-Oct 2021
From: Medical Product Outsourcing(Vol. 19, Issue 7)
Publisher: Rodman Publishing
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,287 words
Lexile Measure: 1820L

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No patient ever wants to hear a cancer diagnosis, because the treatment may be worse than the cure. Cancer is the first or second leading cause of death for patients under 70 years old in 112 of 183 countries across the globe, according to estimates from the World Health Organization in 2019. (1) Cancer mortality and incidence by type is reported to be growing worldwide (Table 1) (2) due to population growth and aging as well as changes in the prevalence and distribution of the main risk factors for cancer. Many risk factors are associated with socioeconomic development, such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, obesity, and/or occupational and environmental exposure. (3) The development of cancer as a leading cause of death is, in part, caused by decreases seen in the mortality rates of coronary heart disease and stroke in many countries. (1)

Why This Is Important

There are so many medical devices critical to the treatment of cancer. According to the World Health Organization, capital equipment (e.g., scopes, electrocardiography, infusion pumps, MRI, etc.) are vital tools in cancer management. So are laboratory diagnostics and pathology equipment, surgical equipment, PPE, shielding and radiation protection, imaging devices, medical furniture (like beds and IV poles), and of course, single-use medical devices. Medications such as chemotherapy and biosimilars, for those who can afford them, are also needed in the fight against cancer.

The Impact of COVID on Cancer

Experts are still estimating the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact around the world. Most agree, however, delays in diagnosis and treatment, patient fears of contracting COVID at a treatment facility, difficulties in gaining access to healthcare facilities due to closures or gatekeepers, and/or delayed or reduced access to screening programs are expected to cause a short-term decrease in reported cancer incidence. Further, it is predicted this period will be followed by an increase in late-stage diagnoses and cancer mortality in some areas of the world.


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Gale Document Number: GALE|A677878011