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Moscow hosted the 10th Forum «Movement Against Cancer»

Development of a National Cancer Control Plan, oncology funding gap, late diagnosis and the unique achievements of Russian oncologists have become among the major topics of the anniversary 10th Forum «Movement Against Cancer», that was held in Moscow on February 2, 2017.

By tradition, the Forum was dedicated to the World Cancer Day globally celebrated on February, 4. Forum was organized by the Interregional Public Movement «Movement Against Cancer» with the support of Non-profit Partnership «Equal Right to Life» under the auspices of Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center in conjunction with The Association of Oncologists of Russia. 

Every year 14 million people worldwide get ill with cancer. By 2030 the number will amount to about 30 million. In Russia more than 500 thousand new cases of cancer are revealed every year, and their number is bound to grow following the oncoming ageing of the population. Every year cancer kills about 300 thousand people in Russia, 100 thousand die in the first year after diagnosis. Cancer poses a serious challenge, and therefore the life and health of many people depends on the effective control measures to be adopted. 

According to Mikhail Davydov, Chief Oncologist of the Russian Ministry of Health and Director of Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, one of the main problems of the industry is the lack of the National Cancer Control Plan in the country, although similar documents already exist in many countries, including Belarus and Kazakhstan. The first steps to develop the National Cancer Control Plan have already been made last year. The idea of ??creating a national program was fully supported by the Ministry of Health and in June 2017 the draft program will be presented at the Russian Congress of oncologists in Ufa. 

Forum experts agree that the main problem in Russia - the late diagnostics of tumors. The introduction of a system of screenings in the country - primarily for tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, lung and the musculoskeletal system – would help to tackle the issue and enable to detect tumors at the early stages that can be then cured surgically inexpensively.

There is also a need to improve quality of clinical examination, as well as increasing the professional level of doctors in the regions. According to Alexey Belyaev, Chief Oncologist of Northwestern Federal District and Head of Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, sometimes doctors do not know that patients can be saved or there is another extreme - sometimes in the regional hospitals they undertake complicated surgeries and thereby only worsen the patient’s condition. Common situation is that regional patients have to wait for a few months to have operations and therapy, they could hardly receive radiological treatment. Among concerns there are outdated diagnostic equipment, lack of oncologists, radiologists, and most importantly – no treatment control. 

At the end of the Forum, Nikolay Dronov, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Interregional Public Movement «Movement Against Cancer», member of the Public Council under the Russian Ministry of Health, stressed that the incentive for changes in the oncology in Russia have been made 10 years ago and partially some of the problems have been solved during that period of time. In particular, taxes on tobacco and alcohol were increased (these factors can provoke the development of tumors), material and technical equipment of clinics improved due to specially adopted federal programs, algorithm of examination and treatment of cancer patients were developed and implemented. 

Each Forum ends up with an appeal to the state authorities. Last year participants signed the appeal to the country President and presented a plan of specific system solutions and measures aimed at reducing the cancer mortality and development of the National Cancer Control Plan. Last year’s appeal remains relevant also this year.  Forum experts and participants believe that with the adoption of the National Cancer Plan all the modern technologies and methods of treatment become available not only in the federal centers but also in the regional clinics.