All.Can: a world-first survey into cancer care inefficiencies

Completed by a total of 3,981 cancer patients across 10 countries, All.Can is the biggest survey of its kind aiming to highlight and improve patient-reported inefficiencies in cancer care.

During an exclusive interview with VJOncology, with Alex Filicevas, member of All.Can international’s steering committee and Head of EU Affairs at the European Cancer Patient Coalition who described the initiative as:

“A multistakeholder initiative, comprised of patient organizations, policymakers, HCPs, and research and industry professionals from Europe and beyond.”

The survey was created with the aim of putting cancer patients and their needs at the heart of cancer care decisions, as Alex Filicevas explains, “Patient insights are not given enough consideration. We believe it’s really fundamental that areas of improvement are identified and patient-centered insights are put at the heart of cancer policies, plans and investment decisions.”

The survey included a variety of questions focusing on where respondents found inefficiencies in their cancer care. These included delays and waiting times in diagnosis and treatment, the financial implications of their condition, as well as many other burdens experienced.

Four key areas for improvement were identified:

  1. The need for a swift, accurate and appropriately delivered diagnosis, with 26% of respondents citing this as the most inefficient part of their cancer care journey.
  2. Over half of the participants felt uninvolved in the treatment options and decisions available to them.
  3. 7/10 cancer patients said they felt they needed psychological support during/after their experience with cancer, but of those a 1/3rd said it was not available to them.
  4. The financial implication of cancer needs to be addressed; over a quarter of respondents reported loss of employment income as a result of their cancer care and treatment, as well as the travel costs.

Alex Filicevas elaborated on the importance of the survey, commenting that:

“This [report] presents the findings of the first international survey asking cancer patients where they have experienced inefficiencies in their care. It was across all cancers, all ages and in 10 countries with almost 4,000 respondents included. As far as we are aware it is the first of its kind.”

In a time of increasing need with often limited resources, how can we expect to tackle the issues surfaced in this sobering study?

Shedding light on this, Alex Filicevas said:

“It’s not necessarily about investment decisions, according to the WHO we know that 20% of all healthcare spending is wasted, including in cancer care.

The prevalence of cancer, the complexities and the increasing cost of cancer care means we need to ensure that resources are distributed as efficiently as possible, to deliver the best outcomes for patients.”

All.Can defines efficiency in cancer care as ‘focusing resources on what matters to patients’. Cancer care is not intrinsically financially driven, the focus is what impacts patients most and also what matters to them from their own perspective. Something as simple as providing a bus service for patients to allow them to go to their check-ups, or coordinating appointments so that too many people don’t have their tests on the same day can have a meaningful positive impact to a cancer patient.

The full All.Can report can be found here.

For video content on supportive care, please click here.

Written by Thomas Southgate & Amita Malik