The Role of Refurbished Medical Equipment in the Global Cancer Crisis
As the world population continues to grow, the need for access to life-saving radiation oncology and diagnostic imaging medical equipment and treatment grows with it. According to a World Health Organization report published in 2018, an estimated 9.8 million people died from cancer that year alone, highlighting the statistic that cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Even more distressingly, the same report states that nearly ¾ of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. There are many reasons that can contribute to these deaths, but two of the main steps to early detection and diagnosis include awareness or accessing care and access to actual treatment.
Several countries in Africa and Asia, such as Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, lack even one radiotherapy machine for their entire populations. This means millions of people have virtually no access to this life-saving cancer treatment. This statistic, compared to the ratio of radiation machines to inhabitants in the developed world– which is usually estimated around one per 250,000 people, puts into perspective the crisis occurring outside of the developed world.  This is a testament to the need for more linear accelerators, especially in developing countries, where cancer diagnosis is often hopeless. Considering that the developing world makes up 85% of the global population, it is clear that there is a dire need for a solution. And fast.
This is where refurbished medical equipment comes in.
In an article published by the Lancet Oncology Commission regarding the need to address global access to radiotherapy, the Commission directly calls for immediate action to improve the state of cancer treatment in low and middle income countries.  In these nations the cost of linear accelerators is often the largest deterrent or limiting factor to increasing the access to care and treatment and low-cost refurbished machines can provide a tangible solution to this problem. While purchasing even a few brand-new linear accelerators can cost several millions of dollars, the price-tag for the same number of low-cost refurbished radiation therapy machines can be significantly lower– without sacrificing quality of care and safety.
Medical institutions can help in one key way: Don’t throw away your older linear accelerators.
Companies like ROS work to take your older LINAC models, refurbish them, and place them in lower-income countries. Refurbished machines are a safe and cost-effective way to reduce the impact of cancer worldwide. At ROS, our mission is to provide life-saving medical treatment to the entire world, not just those fortunate enough to purchase top-of-the-line equipment. We want you to help us save lives and create a healthier, cancer-free world.