Availability of Radiotherapy Machines
These maps reflect the global availability of linear accelerators, Cobalt-60 teletherapy machines, and HDR-brachytherapy machines. Data was obtained using the Directory of Radiotherapy Centers (DIRAC) database complied by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Population values were obtained from the United Nations Population Division estimates. The IAEA recommends that each machine serve up to 250,000 people. As depicted by the map, there is a clear need for more directed effort in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.
These numbers are just the beginning of a story for each center that goes much deeper, as clinics combat economic, sociopolitical, and geographical factors to serve cancer patients in their regions. RCC is committed to working with clinics to improve patient outcomes in diverse settings.
Rayos Contra Cancer (RCC) is a non-profit, multi-institutional collaborative project to improve cancer treatment in low-resource areas around the globe. Combining the insight of radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, radiologists, industry experts, and social entrepreneurs, RCC has begun a journey to identify and engage healthcare systems where support is scarce for radiation therapy. RCC works with existing radiotherapy clinics to empower the local resources that are in place and create opportunities for further clinic development, education, training, and research.
Across the globe, over 7 out of 10 cancer cases occur in low-resource settings. This number is expected to grow as the prevalence of cancer increases rapidly in the developing world. Safe, timely, and effective cancer treatment is a challenge today, and will continue to challenge us tomorrow. Today is the day we need to begin working together to share our problems, our insights, and our solutions.
Just as we support each and every cancer patient, so must we support each other to ensure that all patients can access the care that they need. No clinic is too small to make an impact.