New cancer diagnoses in 2020 drop 10 percent on the year in Croatia

NEWS 17.10.2022 10:45
Shutterstock / Ilustracija

The number of new cancer diagnoses in Croatia in 2020 dropped 10% on the year in every county, except Istria, and in older age groups, according to preliminary Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) data.

At the same time, cancer mortality data showed the continuation of a positive trend which began in 2015, Mario Sekerija of the HZJZ said.

The biggest drop in new diagnoses in 2020 was recorded for thyroid, kidney, prostate and skin cancers, while there was no drop in testicular, cervical and brain cancer diagnoses.

The biggest drops were recorded in spring, particularly April, when Croatia was in a COVID lockdown, and in autumn, particularly November.

Croatia is yet to begin implementing the national strategic framework against cancer which parliament adopted nearly two years ago and which could save 5,000 lives per year.

The Health Ministry says the first step in the implementation, an action plan for the next three years, is in procedure.

Disgruntled that nothing has been done about the implementation, early this year patients’ associations launched the “It’s time” campaign to make those responsible, first and foremost the ministry, take the necessary steps.

This was discussed recently at the 14th congress of the Croatian Society for Medical Oncology, which comprises 100 specialists and 37 residents.

Its president, Stjepko Plestina, says the first step after adopting the action plan should be the establishment of a network of oncology institutions as well as interdisciplinary work and cooperation in order to improve the quality of treatment and give patients across Croatia an equal chance.


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