City Cancer Challenge Foundation enables cities to lead the way in providing quality cancer care


  • C/Can launches new call for applications. Apply now!
  • The application process for the City Cancer Challenge is open for cities with over 1 million inhabitants.

Today, the City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can) will open a new call for applications to join C/Can’s global network. C/Can supports cities around the world to improve access to equitable, quality cancer care. Cities that are interested in applying need to register before the 1st of December 2020. The selected candidates will join the 9 cities in which C/Can is pursuing its mission around the globe: Asunción (Paraguay), Cali (Colombia), Greater Petaling (Malaysia), Kigali (Rwanda), Kumasi (Ghana), León (Mexico), Porto Alegre (Brazil), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Yangon (Myanmar).

Building resilient health systems from the ground up

Over half (54%) of the world’s population currently lives in cities and the percentage of people living in urban areas is projected to increase from 60% in 2030 to 66% by 2050.  

“In recent months, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it became even clearer that cities play an important role and can take the lead in providing quality care for all. Cities are hubs of entrepreneurship. By leveraging their innovation and leadership, we can co-create new ways of working that will drive lasting change in cancer care around the world”, explains Dr Susan Henshall, CEO of C/Can.

C/Can is building community-led cancer care solutions from the ground up. Together with the 9 partnering cities around the world, C/Can identifies gaps in cancer care and develops innovative and sustainable solutions to ensure no one is left behind in accessing the diagnosis, treatment and care they need. 

C/Can supports cities to develop solutions, policies and processes that help improve the lives of cancer patients and strengthen health systems for cancer care. The global health pandemic shed more light on the importance of maintaining a resilient health system to support patients. In many countries, national health authorities are struggling to address the pandemic in addition to existing health challenges. As a result, cities are becoming even more critical in leading efforts to provide quality cancer care. 

Driving local innovation for global impact

Dr Susan Henshall elaborates: “Through our innovative and harmonised approach, cities are creating sustainable and scalable solutions to improve access to cancer care. We do this by focusing on three areas: supporting health systems strengthening, evidence-based decision making, and local ownership and sustainability. We provide cities with capacity building support to help them define quality standards and ensure harmonisation of practice in core areas including pathology, radiology, nuclear medicine, surgery, radiotherapy, medical oncology, and palliative care; as well as promoting ethics and patient-centred care”.

C/Can’s process supports cities to design and execute policies tailored to local realities, and cities have shown they can mobilise to confront serious threats like pollution, climate change, and COVID-19. The mayors and local authorities have been put on the front line to address these issues. 

“The way we address the challenges and opportunities we are faced with now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, has the potential to transform health care for the future.” Dr Susan Henshall continues: “Through local partnerships that bring together stakeholders from the public and private sector, we enforce that each sector has its role to play, to bring value to designing cancer care solutions that will simultaneously improve the lives of cancer patients today and strengthen health systems for cancer care.” 

What process do the cities need to follow

The application process for the City Cancer Challenge is open for cities with over 1 million inhabitants. Via this website, cities are invited to assess their readiness to join C/Can in five key areas – local leadership and political commitment, partnerships, people-centered approach, enabling policy environment, and core cancer care pillars. C/Can’s Checklist can be used by cities to identify areas that need to be strengthened,  and serves as a resource for any city committed to improving access to quality, equitable, sustainable cancer care for its citizens.

After the deadline of 1 December, shortlisted cities will be invited to submit a full application and will be subject to a transparent and robust due diligence process before final selection.



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