October is the international Breast Cancer Awareness Month and October 15 is the Breast Health Day. This occasion will be accompanied by promotional activities organized by the Working Group for Breast Cancer Screening, screening mammography centers, NOI and patients’ organizations: The Amazons, Europa Donna, League Against Cancer, No to Cancer, Pink Ribbon. The Presidential Palace, Bratislava Castle, the Magistrate of Bratislava, Trnava Town Hall, headquarters of Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa and other monuments in Trenčín, Ružomberok and Banská Bystrica will be illuminated in pink. Illuminated buildings all around Slovakia are meant to remind women not to forget the crucial regular prevention in the form of mammography breast exam. This efficient method is able to detect breast cancer in early stages when it is possible to cure the disease.
Breast cancer is diagnosed to 3000 women in Slovakia each year, of which 30% cases are in a locally advanced and metastatic stage. If 70 – 75% of women participated in the screening, it would be possible to reduce breast cancer mortality by 30 – 35%.
More than estimated 4,000 people are diagnosed with large intestine and colon cancer (colorectal cancer) in Slovakia each year. It affects mostly people aged over 50.
This is why regular screening is so important – because many people afflicted by this disease do not necessarily have to present any symptoms for several years. PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THE INVITATION TO FECAL OCCULT BLOOD TEST (FOBT) which was sent to you by post by your health insurance company as a part of the oncology screening program in Slovakia. It was sent to men and women aged 50 to 75 who never go to routine check-ups at their general practitioner’s.
We appeal to all women and all men aged over 50 to take the screening FOBT which will be provided to you by your general practitioner or your health insurance company. If the test, which needs to be handed over to your GP, confirms blood in your stool, be sure to go to a screening COLONOSCOPY. It can detect and remove polyps (outgrowths) on the large intestine or colon mucosa which can be a very early and treatable pre-cancerous stage.
The director of our institute was interviewed in the ERGO magazine about healthy lifestyle and talked also about the fact that cancer is curable if it is detected early in a pre-cancerous stage. Thanks to certain preventive measures, we can avoid almost 50% of cases. How important are preventive, screening exams? Why cancerous cells overpower normal, healthy cells in some individuals? What is the role of genetics?
Organized cervical cancer screening has now become reality also in Slovakia. Each year, approximately 600 women develop cervical cancer in our country, most often aged around 45.
Screening helps prevent unnecessary deaths since cervical cancer is a slow progressing disease which can be detected early via regular gynecological checkups and can be treated very successfully.
Make an appointment with your gynecologist for a free gynecological checkup.
Do not ignore routine check-ups nor invitations to breast cancer, cervical cancer or colorectal cancer screenings. The goal of oncology screening is to detect an oncological disease in an early, thus potentially curable stage via an effective diagnostic test which searches for individuals with asymptomatic diseases in the population who can be diagnosed. Learn more about the importance of screening programs in our podcast “Zdravé reči” with screening coordinator Jana Trautenberger Ricová from our Institute.