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#Time4Change: Cyprus

Published on 21 February 2018 back to previous

Although Cyprus recorded the lowest standardized death rate for cancer among the EU Member States in 2014,1 the challenge remains to reduce cancer mortality by 15% by the year 2025. Colorectal Cancer is currently the third most common cancer in Cyprus.

A pilot screening programme was instigated 2013, and has an average response rate of 30%. However, that number could be higher. Out of 1,000 people surveyed whether they would participate in a screening programme, 59% responded positively.

In the same survey, less than 50% of respondents attributed the risk factors for colorectal cancer correctly. Intensified awareness campaigns can help to minimise misconceptions and redress the balance on the need for adopting healthier lifestyles.

Moving to the next stage

“It is time to appraise the pilot screening programme and move to the next stage for a national screening programme, so that every person over 50 and under 69 years old has the opportunity to be screened reliably,” said Dr. Chrysostomos Clonis, Gastroenterologist at the Larnaca General Hospital. “This programme based on the FIT stool exam followed by a colonoscopy when positive, saves lives. There is no time to lose. Prevention is the best cure!”

A national screening programme for colorectal cancer combined with a national awareness campaign could be very effective in reducing incidence and mortality due to colorectal cancer.

It is #Time4Change in Cyprus starting with:

-        the finalisation of the implementation of the new National Health System at a speedier rate

-        the streamlining of the National Cancer Registry

-        the updating of the National Cancer Plan and

-        the completion and appraisal of the pilot stage of the colorectal screening programme (2013) and its extension to go national

-        the Adoption of ESMO Guidelines on treatment protocols for metastatic colorectal cancer



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