Global Focus on Cancer’s mission is to raise awareness, provide support and create a global network between people diagnosed with cancer, their care partners and medical professionals. Our goal is to increase awareness, decrease stigma and encourage early detection and treatment by expanding access to information about cancer.
What We Do
GFC is a US based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2011 to act as an agent of simple and effective change to help reduce the global burden of cancer. We achieve this by creating, implementing and sustaining cancer awareness and education programs, and promoting the development of locally sustainable cancer support groups in areas where access to information about cancer is critically lacking.
GFC’s programs put cancer patients and their care partners at the center to ensure that programs respond to patient needs. We use evidence for program development and implementation, and generates knowledge and data for adapting programs to other settings. Programs are implemented and driven by local partners, fit into national strategies, and are embedded in the health care system.
GFC has a universal vision of a future in which all people have access to health services which are:
-Coordinated around their needs
-Respects their preferences
-Safe, timely, affordable and of acceptable quality
Where the Need is the Greatest
Cancer is a growing burden worldwide. Each year, more than 18 million people receive a new cancer diagnosis and this number is expected to increase to 29.4 million by the year 2040. Even with advances in diagnosis and treatment, cancer related deaths still exceed 12 million people annually—more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
Despite the fact that more than 60% of all cancers occur in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), only 5% of the world’s total cancer resources find their way to these regions. In these areas, cancer treatment and prevention services are lacking with some countries having no specialized cancer care at all. This leads to a disproportionate number of patients presenting in late stages of the disease, when treatment is more difficult and outcomes are poorer. Even if appropriate treatment is available, patients may not be able to afford it, making it less likely they will receive the vital care they need.
Cancer awareness is critically lacking in many resource-poor settings. Often, patients do not have the knowledge that cancer may be preventable or treatable, but rather, view it as a “death sentence”. On the clinical side there are many collaborative efforts by the international community to build cancer care capacity in low resource settings around improved access to equipment, education and human resources, however, little is being done to increase patient health literacy or to support the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and their families. Data suggests that an important element toward improving cancer outcomes in low-resource settings should be the development of health promotion and cancer literacy programs.
How We Work
GFC partners with local organizations to connect them with established global cancer resources. We translate existing successful cancer awareness/educational materials and programs to be culturally and resource- appropriate in an effort to promote cancer awareness, early detection and treatment options. We utilize our relationships with doctors, hospitals, cancer organizations and US companies with international offices to create and distribute country-specific literature and to host cancer awareness seminars and symposiums. We assist in creating new, and expanding upon existing cancer support programs using established, successful models and adapting them to fit the individual country.
GFC has developed an approach in each target country that consists of:
We develop and introduce evidence-based, locally adaptable and culturally appropriate cancer awareness and educational programs.
We create new, and/or expand on existing cancer support groups using established, successful models and adapting them to fit the local culture and resources of each country.
We partner with local cancer support and advocacy groups, clinician champions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to build international alliances and to advocate for supportive patient centered policy changes at the local, regional, national and international level.
Capitalizing on our multinational relationships, we assist clinicians, hospitals, advocates and organizations to expand their networks across countries and regions and learn from best practices.