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#Time4Change: Slovenia

Published on 28 March 2018 back to previous

In Slovenia, colorectal cancer is the leading form of cancer for both men and women aged 50-74 years.1 For decades, the number of newly diagnosed patients had been increasing and in a population of 2 million, there were over 1,700 new cases in 2011.

In April 2009, the national screening programme was launched and the response rate has gradually increased year-on-year and has now plateaud at slightly over 62%. That compares well to other European countries and is considered a success by all stakeholders in the country.

Last year when the new annual screening programme results were published, it was announced that for the first time in the history of the cancer registry in Slovenia, the number of new cases of colorectal cancer patient had actually dropped. That is a fantastic result and is proof of the programme working and moving into the right direction.

Still some work to be done

However, there are still areas for improvement in the country. One is trying to persuade men to respond better to invitations for screening; only 50% of men invited into the programme currently respond.

As far as access to care is concerned, while patients can receive all the treatments indicated and required for them, there are still issues that need to be addressed. One of them is paliative care and psycho-oncological support for patients and their relatives, which is now almost non-existant.

With an increasing pool of patients, both paliative care and psychological support are needed, yet patients and their relatives rely on their own recources and are left to their own devices. Psychological support is offered by some cancer patient organisations, including EuropaColon Slovenia.

 

References

1)    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330174/

 

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