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August 10, 2022

HealthMin Rafila: We have first draft of national strategy to combat cancer

The Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila, stated, on Friday, in southern Craiova, that there is a first draft for a national strategy to combat cancer, which was launched two months ago and within which a register of patients affected by cancer could be accomplished, as none exists at this time.

“We hope to be able to perfect this national strategy to combat cancer, to approve it to allow us to have evaluations and have answers to all these questions [e.n. – regarding the causes of the high number and increasing numbers of cases of cancer in Dolj and Southwest region]. I wouldn’t want to speculate that in the vicinity of Romania there is a nuclear power plant [e.n. – the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, in Bulgaria] and for this reason there are more neoplasms in this region – the causes may be multiple, and prevention policies are unequal in Romania,” said Rafila in Craiova, where he attended the inauguration of the St. Nectarios Oncology Center, the largest center of this kind in southern Romania, accomplished by oncologist Michael Schenker, through a private investment of around 15 million euro.

According to Michael Schenker, in Romania there are no statistics regarding the real situation on cancer, as for years there is no register of patients affected by cancer,” because there was no possibility it was done for various reasons, more or less objective.”

In 2020, according to the analysis on the situation of cancer done in May 2021 by the Health Ministry, Romania diagnosed 98,886 new cases of cancer and 54,486 deaths caused by it were recorded, our country having among the highest mortality rates in Europe in most types of cancer.

“In Romania, the survival rates at five years after treating some forms of cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer, are far below EU averages. This is valid, especially, for the types of cancer that could be prevented through the reduction to a minimum of risk factors, such as pulmonary cancer (11%), stomach cancer (3%) and hepatic cancer (13%). The weak results are influenced by late diagnoses and inefficiency in treatment. (…) Furthermore, the lack of systematic screening for the disease, records a low percentage of participation and a sub-optimal quality,” the quoted document mentions.

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