Lung Cancer Screening Programme to Be Launched in 10 Towns

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 12, 2019 – A lung cancer screening programme will be launched in May in ten Croatian cities with the aim of reducing the fatality rate of that disease that is diagnosed among 3,000 people in Croatia each year.

Low-dose CT scanners that use latest technology to minimise the amount of X-rays needed to perform the scan will be distributed throughout Croatia and as of May family physicians will invite people considered to be at risk of that disease and those are smokers aged over 50.

The coordinator of the National lung cancer early detection programme, Miroslav Samaržija made this announcement on Monday adding that aim is to identify as many patients at the early stages when the cancer can still be cured

The programme was presented at an expert panel discussion titled “Europe of equal opportunities for patients with lung cancer”, held at the BIOCentre at Zagreb’s Borongaj campus.

Early detection is the only way to treat lung cancer, as targeted therapy provides survival but not permanent recovery, he explained adding that the survival rate in the USA is 15% to 20%, in Great Britain it is 10% yet in Croatia it is about 6%.

He underscored that the Netherlands and Belgium are the only two European countries that have conducted preventative and screening programmes like the one that is currently being introduced in Croatia. These countries have reduced their fatality rate for the illness by 25% to 40%, he added.

Samaržija explained that currently all medication for cancer treatment is available in Croatia just like in any other EU country, however, the only limitation is, the implementation of immunotherapy at the start of treatment and is accessible to 30% to 40% of patients in Croatia.

The panel heard that thanks to innovative therapy lung cancer could become a chronic illness and that today people live up to 10 years longer.

Mary Bussell of The Economist Intelligence Unit, presented the initial results of lung cancer research in 13 European countries which show that the best results were recorded in Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom and that Austria, Greece and Romania were at the bottom of the list.

Bussell said that Croatia would soon join the research and in that way have access to information about the best practices in treating lung cancer in Europe.

More medical news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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