Currently over half of the world’s population lives in cities, with 95% of urban expansion in the next decades anticipated to take place in lower and middle-income countries.¹

As people continue to flock to urban environments the world over, this brings an additional challenge of sustainable healthcare infrastructure and planning to national and local governments. Today, over 85% of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, occur in lower and middle-income countries.2 Roche is taking a lead role in an exciting partnership to support cities across the globe to spearhead the design, planning and implementation of state-of-the-art solutions for cancer care.

In 2017, the(C/Can) was launched with the ambitious vision of creating a world with quality and equitable cancer care for all. It is supporting cities around the world as they work to improve access to equitable, quality cancer care. Since established by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), C/Can has developed aof addressing access to cancer care that, for the first time, leverages the city as a key enabler in a health systems response to cancer.

Today, more and more cities are supported in their endeavour to close the cancer care gap. The programmes in the cities of Cali (Colombia), Asuncion (Paraguay), Yangon (Myanmar), Kumasi (Ghana), Kigali (Rwanda), Tbilisi (Georgia), Porto Alegre (Brazil), Greater Petaling (Malaysia), Leon (Mexico), Arequipa (Peru) and Nairobi (Kenya) have already reached 59.6M people. Another ten cities are expected to join the initiative over the next few years with an estimated reach of 100M.

We are committed to increasing access to sustainable cancer care around the world and are therefore a key partner of C/Can since its early days. Beyond funding, we share our health system knowledge, global stakeholder network and business planning expertise.

Together, we aim at supporting transformative learning by building local leadership and organisational capacity. We advocate for connected health through innovative technologies and financing structures and help cities on their path to readiness as hubs of cancer care excellence. We have been involved in a number of projects over the years, such as:

  • Jointly developing awareness and capacity building events in Mexico, including for innovative financing mechanisms for cancer care.

  • Co-developing and supporting C/Can’s sustainability strategy in Cali, Colombia.

  • Supporting the study of financial feasibility for patients’ journey with lung cancer in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

What value have the learning cities derived from the initiative so far? What support do cities receive throughout the process? Why is a multisector response critical to the long-term sustainability of cancer care?

Listen to different perspectives in response to these questions.


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