“Inequality in cancer in France is the variation in oncology of the famous medical deserts”

Lhe World Health Organization (WHO) is formal: “How the phenomenon of inequalities in cancer evolves and changes over time (…) concerns everyone, but the most disadvantaged people are particularly affected. » This world reality, the French are not unaware of it, since “69% believe that there are inequalities in the face of cancer and attribute them mainly to income and place of residence”.

Inequality in relation to cancer in France is the variation in oncology of the famous medical deserts, which affect 7.4 million people, or 11.1% of the French population. In these territories concerned, those of the diagonal of the void, but also certain suburbs of large agglomerations such as the Parisian suburbs, are often added medical desert, deficit of all public services and technological and digital delay.

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Cancerology poses an additional challenge, because it is multidisciplinary and combines many medical and paramedical specialties. It is also technically very complex (technical platforms for anatomopathology, medical biology, genetics or imaging). There will therefore never be a center of excellence in oncology a few kilometers from each French person, or even in each department.

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But we can overcome this complexity thanks to two levers that can be quickly activated: the strengthening of collaborations between isolated territories and expert centres; the deployment of innovative digital tools. If organizational networks exist, such as the cancéropôles, it is necessary to get closer to the patients and strengthen direct collaboration between the territories and the public healthcare structures that are experts in oncology, such as the cancer centers and the university hospitals, as well as some hospitals with sufficient expertise.

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Together, these centers already cover a large part of the territory and often have very complementary expertise. To help the professionals who bring these collaborations to life, but who still remain insufficiently numerous, it is essential to provide them with digital tools adapted to a complex delocalized practice. The creation of virtual houses in oncology would respond to this logic. A virtual house in oncology would be in charge of a territory under the responsibility of an expert center in oncology, which would manage an allocated team.

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