Innovation in cancer patient care, luxury or bitter necessity?
In the Netherlands, the risk to contracting cancer amounts to a little more than 38% for women and almost to 44% for men. It has been proven that more than 1 in 3 women (2.6) and almost 1 in 2 men (2.3) contracts cancer at some point in their lives. The risk of dying of cancer amounts to almost 22% for women and to almost 29% for men (source KWF report “Kans op kanker”). Alas, more and more youngsters meet with this fate, too. The Netherlands is in the top 3 of countries with the highest percentage of women with breast cancer (1 in 8)and the highest number of men with prostate cancer (1 in 16). In 2008, 89,200 new cases of cancer were registered in the Netherlands with regard to 70,285 cases in 2000. This is an increase of almost 30% (26.9%).
The InKaZo initiators not only worry about the increment rate, but also about the quality of care for cancer patients in the Netherlands. They have decided to make a difference.
We are of the opinion that innovative ways are to be sought to improve the effectivity, durability and quality of care for cancer patients in the Netherlands. In order to attain that goal we would like to initiate a dialogue over a patient’s and doctor’s freedom of choice of treatment.
– We would like to contribute to a transparent ambience in which all parties concerned not only can discuss, but also research new possibilities to reduce the risk of contracting cancer as well as improving its treatment.
– We would like to realise a public record in which the results of current and alternative or experimental treatments are registered. Next to any possible side effects being registered in said public record, not only should it display to which degree a certain treatment is functional, it should also contain the justification of any given treatment.
This shall succeed only if we first face together our current situation of achieving insufficient results as to the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Subsequently, we must be willing to ask the right questions. Only then can we find the answers that help us create a new paradigm in which innovation is welcome.
In conclusion, we shall have to carry through the necessary adaptations to set our first steps towards a fundamental change in the treatment of cancer.