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#Time4Change: Lativa

Published on 14 March 2018 back to previous

In Latvia, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer, and over 50% of cases are diagnosed in the third or fourth stages. Although there is a government screening program in Latvia, take-up among the Latvian population is very low – only about 10-12% of the target population every year. The screening program has been in place for five years but results have not improved since the first year.

There are also financial pressures in Latvia. Although there is National Cancer Plan in place, many cancer medicines are currently unaffordable.

Finding and raising the patient voice

“The major aim for EuropaColon Latvia is find solutions to better diagnosis and treatment and to give patients a voice,” said Uldis Vesers, Chairman of the Board of the organization. “We aim to work together with other patient organisations, parliament, health ministry and municipalities to achieve this.

As patients become more empowered, our numbers will also start to grow, which will help to increase the patient voice in Latvia further. We have a long way to go, but we have lots of great ideas in the organisation and we are confident we can make a real difference.”
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