There are 1 billion adults that smoke cigarettes worldwide, infections in countries are becoming prevalent; therefore, becoming a contributing factor for cancer cases.
The UK is ranked high in both incidence and mortality (death) of cancer cases; it's estimated that there will be 27.5 million new cases of cancer each year by 2040. These are shocking figures; it is also saddening that these figures are not estimated to reduce in the future. These figures are peoples loved ones that will have to go through this dreaded disease, which could be avoided by taking necessary preventative action.
Therefore, what is the future of cancer care that I see or what do I want cancer care to look like in 2030?
I believe the government should invest heavily in preventative measures such as raising awareness, especially towards lifestyles choices. We cannot underestimate the power of education within the community; an investment in raising awareness will force people to be more conscious and aware of how they choose to live their lives.
More knowledge of screening procedures available and testimonials of cancer survivors should be shown, so the general public is aware of how much a cancer diagnosis changes an individual's life emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. Despite the abundance of information available about cancer, most people are still very much unaware. Still, they genuinely want to be informed; the increase in awareness will help tackle the "lifestyle" cause of cancer to a great extent.
The future of cancer care that I want to see includes MRI-linac, and proton beam therapy machines which should become the norm for radiotherapy cancer treatments; why? MRI-linac allows better tumour, soft tissue delineation and allows real-time tumour tracking; proton beam therapy helps us treat adults and young adult patients with less side effect and rare tumours without travelling outside the UK. Currently, we have very few MRI-linacs in the UK and across the world.
Similarly, there needs to be an increased awareness of proton beam therapy in the UK. Currently, three operational centres are using this form of treatment at Rutherford Cancer Centres and one NHS centre, The Christie in Manchester. More investment needs to deployed into research and development in these innovative machines, whereby cancer care in the UK is continuously at the cutting edge and value-based for patients.