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Results of the 3d European Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) Early Diagnosis Week: In the fight against cancer not only early diagnosis but also the increasing availability of advanced technologies and products are important

In 2015, activities aimed at raising awareness about cancer and early detection of the HNC were held in 27 cities of Russia. The campaign was organized and conducted by Non-Profit Partnership Equal Right to Life with the support of leading professional associations: European Head and Neck Society (EHNS), the Russia’s Oncologist Association, HN Specialist Society, All-Russian HN Disease Federation, as well as company Merck specializing in development and production of innovative products in the pharmaceutical, biotech and high-tech materials.

As part of the Week OncoWatch campaigns at the largest enterprises of Russia were held, during which factory workers were examined for the presence of neoplastic and precancerous tumors. In addition, a number of medical institutions held master classes for professionals working with head and neck diseases, neurosurgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, otolaryngologists, oncologists and dentists.

Today head and neck cancer is an acute social problem that requires attention from government, health authorities, public organizations and the medical community. Speaking about the results of the 3rd European Early Diagnosis Week, Director of Research, Educational and Clinical Center for Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery of the First Sechenov MSMU, corresponding member of RAS Igor V. Reshetov said: “Head and neck cancer – it really is a very dramatic localization of the tumor in which a person loses his identity, complete desocialization occurs. Patients suffering from head and neck neoplasms are sad leaders according to the degree of disability".

Every year about 600 thousands of patients are diagnosed with the HNC, more than half of the cases end in death. In Russia more than 15 thousand people per year die from this disease. The vast majority of patients could survive if the disease is detected in a timely manner, and treatment is administered at an early stage. That is why the main purpose of the Week of HNC Diagnosis is to inform all layers of society about the importance of checkups for early detection of this disease.

"In the early detection of pathologies of the head and neck more than 90% of people can be cured. Leading experts have joined forces to show the possibility of detecting these tumors in screening of a healthy population by the example of the European Early Diagnosis Week, – said the chief oncologist of Russia, Director of FSBE Blokhin Russian Oncological Scientific Center, academician of RAS Mikhail I. Davydov. – The examination of people who do not complain revealed quite a few forms of precancerous conditions that require monitoring and therapy".

The central event of the 3rd European Week became OncoWatch at Enterprises - preventive examination of workers of the biggest factories of Russia with the aim of identifying diseases of the head and neck. Such campaigns under the auspices of Non Profit Partnership Equal Right to Life at the Irkutsk plant, Chelyabinsk metallurgical plant, two plants of the Donskoy holding company AGROCOM, the Krasnogorsk Zverev plant and were enthusiastically supported by the heads of enterprises and representatives of administrations of the Ministry of Health and regions.

Any socially oriented company should support such initiatives as one of the conditions for effective work of the company is health of its employees. And the key to health in the timely screening and duly prevention”, – said the First Deputy General Director of Irkutsk Oil and Fat Factory LLC, Deputy of Legislative Assembly of the Irkutsk region Dmitry Z. Baimashev who supported OncoWatch in Irkutsk.

"OncoWatch at the Irkutsk plant allowed us concluding that people are willing to be surveyed, and employers want healthy employees. As a result we have agreed with the enterprise that once a year we will carry out similar actions", - said the chief doctor of State Budgetary Healthcare Institution Irkutsk Regional Oncology Center, MD, Professor Victoria V. Dvornichenko.

"Rostov Oncological Institute deals with problems of prevention and early diagnostics for over 25 years, when at the suggestion of academician Y. S. Sidorenko Saturday's Days of Open Consultation were held for all citizens of our region. That’s why we have large experience of examination, consultation and diagnosis," – Oleg I. Kit, Professor, Doctor of Medicine, Director of FSBE RNIOI in enterprises of AGROCOM holding, commented the survey.

In evaluating the results of the campaign the Director of Research, Educational and Clinical Center for Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery of the First Sechenov MSMU, corresponding member of RAS, Igor V. Reshetov said: “One of the most important goals of the organizers of the event is to raise onco vigilance of the population and to teach people to pay special attention to the harmless ailments at first glance: a lump in the throat, pain and difficulty in swallowing, sore tongue, hoarseness or voice change, chronic nasal congestion. If at least one of the symptoms persists for more than 3 weeks, you should see a doctor. Early referral to a specialist and timely diagnosis can save the life of many patients".

A highly topical program of the 3rd European HNC Early Diagnosis Week included not only screening to occupational hazards, but also Open Days in cancer clinics and outpatient clinics, during which everyone could have examination performed by specialists for the presence of malignant tumors. Thanks to the support of regional ministries of health and activity of cancer services similar events were held in 31 medical institution in 27 cities, 9642 persons were examined, with tumor and precancerous pathologies detected in 1223 of them.

"Detection of early forms of cancer is one part of the problem, and the second part is timely, correct, effective beginning of treatment," M. I. Davydov says. Patients with suspected malignant lesions were sent for further examination with the further observation according to the place of residence and a possibility to receive qualified medical care.

“From 1004 persons who were screened in Irkutsk within the framework of the 3rd European Early head and Neck Diagnosis Week these or other chronic diseases were detected in 30% of them. Currently the survey is still ongoing, but now the diagnostic results say we are on the right track", - V. V. Dvornichenko says.

"This year 937 people were surveyed in Rostov. Patients diagnosed with cancer receive treatment at our Institute, people with other diseases is directed to appropriate specialists, and we hope that their life would turn out quite well," -  O. I. Kit says.

According to experts, on condition of timely diagnosis innovative therapies of HNC allow  translating this group of diseases from fatal to chronic ones, allowing the patient to live a long life. However, experts note that effective cancer control requires partnership with non-governmental organizations that are actively working to raise awareness about cancer, advocating for the rights of patients to receive medical care, render psychological support to patients, their families and friends.

"In the fight against cancer adopt a comprehensive approach, therefore, we initiate, organize and support the activities aimed at the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer. But even an early diagnosis will save the patient without effective, accessible, and timely health care. Week of early diagnostics of head and neck cancer in Russia is another step towards increasing the availability of advanced medical technologies and innovative drugs for cancer patients", –the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Russia’s Association of Oncologists, Executive Director of the Non-Profit Partnership Equal Right to Life Dmitry Borisov.

Summing up the results of the 3rd European Head and Neck Cancer Diagnosis Week of, its organizers and participants stressed that the implementation of the project in 2015 made it possible not only to improve the performance of detection of malignant tumors at early stages, but really to consolidate the society to combat this socially significant disease. "By supporting such campaigns, we seek to become a partner of the medical community, the Government of the Russian Federation in the fight against socially significant diseases and cancer in particular. I hope that in the future we will be able to support the Early Head and Neck Cancer Early Diagnostics in Russia," -  Roger Janssens, the Director of Merck Biopharma in Russia and the CIS, said.

The geography of the campaign is being expanded, enabling a growing number of organizations, medical institutions, socially responsible businesses and mass media of Russia to participate in the early diagnosis of neoplastic diseases.

For additional information, please contact the press service of the Non-Profit Partnership Equal Right to Life:

Tatiana Perekatova, +7 916 332 76 42, tper@ag-loyalty.com

Anastassia Kozlova, + 7 916 545 78 55, akoz@ag-loyalty.com