A lack of well-trained clinical oncologists can result in significant cancer health disparities. The magnitude of this problem around the world is poorly described in the literature. A comprehensive global survey of the clinical oncology workforce was conducted. Data on the number of clinical oncologists in 93 countries were obtained from 30 references. The mortality-to-incidence ratio was estimated by using data on incidence and mortality rates from the GLOBOCAN 2012 database; the ratio was > 70% in 26 countries (28%), which included 21 countries in Africa (66%) and five countries in Asia (26%). Eight countries had no clinical oncologist available to provide care for patients with cancer. In 22 countries (24%), a clinical oncologist would provide care for < 150 patients with a new diagnosis of cancer. In 39 countries (42%), a clinical oncologist would provide care for > 500 patients with cancer. In 27 countries (29%), a clinical oncologist would provide care for > 1,000 incident cancers, of which 25 were in Africa, two were in Asia, and none were in Europe or the Americas. The economic and social development status of a country correlates closely with the burden of cancer and the shortage of human resources. Addressing the shortage of clinical oncologists in regions with a critical need will help these countries meet the sustainable development goals for noncommunicable diseases by 2030.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Mathew, Aju, "Global Survey of Clinical Oncology Workforce" (2018). Internal Medicine Faculty Publications. 169.