Preventive and screening measures have a huge importance in healthcare. Screening or secondary prevention is designed to detect diseases in early stages, which increases the possibility of curability, makes the treatment less of a burden and reduces the morbidity and mortality of the given disease. It is also possible to detect a disease in a pre-cancerous stage via oncological screening, i.e. in a pre-invasive stage whose successful treatment can prevent the development of an invasive oncological disease completely.
Until recently, oncological screening in Slovakia was taking place only opportunistically, however, the situation changed in 2019. The first phase of colorectal cancer screening was carried out from January to October 2019, health insurance companies started inviting patients to breast cancer mammography screening in September 2019 and a cervical cancer screening program and the second phase of colorectal cancer screening are currently under intense preparation. Oncological screening programs are supervised by the Ministry of Health of the SR (MoH SR) and coordinated by National Oncology Institute (NOI) whose role is to regularly evaluate the course of screening programs in cooperation with relevant experts based on short-term and long-term quality indicators. (1)
The success of oncological screening programs depends on expert preparation and degree of participation of the population at risk. From this point of view, continuous and correctly targeted awareness campaign is crucial. Information about the screenings in preparation and ongoing ones is regularly updated on NOI website.