The dialogue platform of the non-profit organization All.Can Greece proposes coherent proposals for systemic treatment of cancer through primary and secondary prevention, as well as quality controlled health services.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease, with the lung, breast, prostate, colon and bladder forms being the most common.
The overall economic impact of cancer in Europe is estimated to be more than €100 billion annually
In Greece, nearly a quarter of all deaths are due to cancer, but the five-year survival rates for the most common types of cancer are unknown, as Greece does not have a national oncology registry, while data from other registries is incomplete.
The leading cause of death from cancer in men is lung cancer, followed by prostate cancer and colon cancer.
In women, the leading cause of cancer death is lung cancer, followed by breast and colon cancer.
Cancer mortality varies among the geographic regions of the country.
A recent study showed that preventable deaths decreased by 30.5% in the period 2000-2007 compared to the years 1980-1984, in part due to improved health services.
On the contrary, the epidemic has greatly affected preventive examination, which is why the disease is now being detected at a more advanced stage. In fact, estimates based on the American Cancer Society’s algorithm show that in 2021, in screening, late diagnoses were made in 25,000 colon cancer patients, 109 lung cancer patients, 29,400 breast cancer patients, and 4,200 cervical cancer patients. .
These figures were collected in a study by the non-profit organization All.Can Greece and the research company IQVIA, titled “National Plan Against Cancer: Policy Recommendations”, which was launched ahead of World Cancer Day on February 4.
The study suggests 13 short- and long-term measures for more effective cancer prevention, early and accurate detection and diagnosis of cancer.
Short term actions
Establishment of the Oncology Directorate at the Ministry of Health
Establishment of the Cancer Biomedical Research Department at the General Secretariat for Research and Technology
Implementation of a leading hospital information system for oncology and hematology
Representing cancer patients on health policy-making committees and bodies
Development and implementation of the national action plan for cancer control (indicators for monitoring the plan and framework for assessing progress)
Medium term actions
Commencement of NCI operations
Establish a national tumor registry
Establishing national centers of specialization
Improving the digital transformation of cancer healthcare by using digital technology and educating patients and caregivers
Establishment of a national network of Precision Medicine in Oncology / EDIMO
Create a national register of inequality and link it to the European register
Systematic recording of treatment protocols in order to better assess and monitor good clinical practices by applying relevant international cancer guidelines.
Prepare an annual report on disparities in cancer management.
For the most effective prevention of cancer, it is indicated that the implementation of the anti-smoking law, an information campaign, and vaccination of both sexes against human papilloma virus, in addition to measures to reduce the most common cancers (breast, cervix, colon, lung, prostate, and stomach), with the application of screening, and the issuance of Certifications for units and services, but also the creation of data recording records for examination programs that will be linked to the electronic patient record.
Early and accurate diagnosis of cancer requires setting and ensuring standards for biomarker testing and diagnostic accuracy, genetic testing and molecular profiling, reimbursement for genetic testing, accelerating the digitization of services with the full launch of the national electronic health record, information system for applications for cancer treatment (with therapeutic protocols for chemotherapy, of which 36 Already under development) and implementation of the National Cancer Registry.
The study was presented by Maria Kalogeropoulou, Head of Health Technology Assessment at the research firm IQVIA Hellas, who undertook to compile the study with the help of the All.Can Greece Steering Committee.
On the occasion of the study, Kaiti Apostolidou, President of the Hellenic Union Against Cancer (HELLOK) and member of the Steering Committee for All Can Greece, described Greece as “positive in implementing screening procedures, such as screening, while others are planned and there is Greek participation in European cancer programs.” But these are stand-alone actions, not organically linked to each other and not included in a widely accepted strategic plan for cancer control.There is a lack of structured actions by staff at the national level, in order that the country can take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the European Cancer Plan and important Fighting cancer” He added that “Greece does not yet have a national cancer registry, a national cancer plan and an official body such as the National Cancer Institute, nor the Oncology Directorate of the ministry. Dialogue platform All.Can Greece wants to start a public debate on the national cyber-oncology plan.” – Cancer Fight It contributes policy recommendations from participants on the front lines of cancer control, patients, doctors, nurses, and the health industry.”
The President of the Association of Oncologists-Pathologists of Greece, Zenia Saridaki, described the All. Can Greece as important and that the Association of Oncologists supports it, with the sole aim of its implementation, which we can also see in our country in the coming years positive results in prevention and early diagnosis of the disease, as well as in optimal treatment, along with the best quality of life for cancer patients, their families and caregivers, he noted. “.
Director of the Laboratory of “Health Economics and Management” at the University of Piraeus and a member of the National Council of Public Health, Professor Athanasios Vouzikis, commented that “the measures proposed with this plan are fully consistent with the European plan to combat cancer and ensure the sustainability of the cancer care system by adopting realistic options that promote public health, Such as innovation and the use of new technologies, as well as data to increase efficiency in cancer care.It is the responsibility of the state to implement these proposals.
The President of the Hellenic Society of Surgical Oncology, Professor Ioannis Karetianos, stated that “the goal of the State and the agencies involved should be to improve the quality of cancer care, as well as to improve the quality of life of cancer patients.”. The immediate priorities are the implementation of the Electronic Health Record and the National Cancer Registry”, while he stressed that “it is absolutely necessary to establish specialized centers in surgical oncology focusing, if possible, on the target organ (eg. breast, large intestine, liver, pancreas, esophagus, stomach, etc. ), in addition to the mandatory multidisciplinary treatment of cancer patients by the Oncology Committee.
Former President of the Hellenic Society of Radiation Oncology, radiotherapist Giorgos Pisakas, noted the need for radiotherapy units to operate around the clock to reduce waiting lists, which have now decreased significantly with the installation of new digital radiotherapy equipment. The result was that the wait was limited to 1.5-2 months. He highlighted the need to develop tumor centers at strategic points in the country so that cancer patients do not have to undergo their treatments in Athens, which results in waiting lists. According to the data of the Radiotherapy Clinics Company in public hospitals, approximately 30,000 cancer patients need radiotherapy every year, which is a cheap treatment method, as the total cost for these 30,000 patients only amounts to 75 million euros, meaning that the budget Medium sized hospital.
In her message, Ms. Irini Thruvala, Nurse Pathological Oncology Unit and Gynecological Oncology Chemotherapy at Elena Venizelo Hospital and Member of the Board of Directors. From the National Nurses Association of Greece, commented: “Improving the quality of health services provided to cancer patients and survivors depends on a multidisciplinary approach, development of standards, identification and assessment of quality of indicators. ESNE Oncology Nursing, placing the patient at the center of care, recognizes safety as one of the most important factors in assessing the health system, and indicates the need for adequate nursing staff and a safe nurse/nurse relationship. Patient. To ensure quality of care, the chronic phenomenon of nursing staff shortages must be addressed.”