This paper was recently published as a chapter in the International Agency for Research in Cancer’s 2019 Scientific Publication, Reducing Social Inequalities in Cancer: Evidence and Priorities for Research. The Scientific Publication brought together over 70 international scientists from multiple disciplines to examine the best available international and national evidence on social inequalities in cancer.
The Scientific Publication highlights the large variations in cancer incidence, survival, and mortality that exist both between countries and between social groups within countries. It demonstrates that social inequalities have a strong impact across the entire cancer continuum, with differences observed in individuals’ exposure to risk factors, likelihood of developing cancer, and access to screening, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care.
The paper explores the role of law, both domestic and international, across this continuum and these inequalities. It provides examples of the use of law (both good and bad), discusses the breadth and variety of substantive areas of law that are relevant (for example, trade, intellectual property, investment and human rights), and comments on the opportunities and challenges of international collaboration. The chapter – and the Scientific Publication – explore a number of areas that are ripe for further interdisciplinary research, both in Australia and internationally.