The primary purpose of early detection (screening) for cancer is to reduce the mortality and improve the quality of life of the patient. Early detection is not yet possible for all types of cancer, but is for some of the most common types: breast cancer, cervical and colorectal cancer.
Mortality from breast cancer, cervical and colorectal cancer in Serbia exceeds the European average and represents a significant share in the overall mortality rate from malignant diseases and in the burden of disease.
The number of new cervical cancer cases is more than 1.700 - 1.800 per year. Standardized mortality rate in 2006 was 9,98 per 100.000, corresponding to 3rd - 4th highest rate among the European countries. More than two thirds of new cervical cancers are detected only after the early invasive phase and the prognosis of these cases is poor accordingly.
Breast cancer makes up 30% of all newly discovered cases of cancer and represents the third most common cause of death among women aged above 45. Every twelfth woman in Serbia is diagnosed with breast cancer and every year over 1,300 women in Serbia die from it. 70% of new breast cancers are larger than 2 cm when detected and have already spread to other tissues.
The death rate attributed to the cancers of colorectal origin is exceeding the EU average by 15% in male, and by 19% in the case of female patients. Colorectal cancers lead to the death of 2,400 citizen per year and are the second leading cause of death from cance for both genders. The number of new cases is approximately 3,800 per year.
These data indicate the potential health gain from a well organized early detection system in the country. The number of saved lives, within a single year, could be measured in thousands. The early diagnosis and treatment of cervical, breast and colorectal cancer can have a considerable effect on reducing the cancer-related preventable mortality overall and on improving the health of the Serbian population.
The overall objective of the project „Implementation of the National Screening Programme“is to contribute to the improvement of the health and well-being of the population of Serbia.
The Project aims:
- To strengthen the organizational and administrative capacities of the Serbian public health system by establishing and operating the national screening body and by training district public health institutes’ staff to participate in the operation of the cancer screening programmes organisation at local level.
- To strengthen the human resources of the Serbian health care institutions by training key staff participating in the operation of the national cancer screening programmes, namely: radiologists, radiographers, cytotechnicians, cytopathologists, gastroenterologists, and to provide a sound methodological basis for a sustainable training plan, in order to maintain and develop concerned human resources.