“Let us Overcome Cancer with Smile” International Conference held in Yerevan aimed to discuss these issues in particular in which world famous doctors participated who shared their experience with the Armenian experts. The participants of the conference presented the results of the conference and spoke about the actual problems of the field during the press conference at Media Center on May 20.
The index of cancer mortality and illness is rather high in Armenia. According to the representatives of health care, the number of cancer patients has increased by 9-10% in Armenia in 2014 compared to 2010. The annual growth comprises about 3-4%. According to Health Ministry data, there were 7593 primary cancer patients in Armenia in 2010, and in 2014 the number was 8365.
According to the experts, the most common are lung and gastrointestinal cancer cases among men and breast and cervical cancer cases among women in Armenia. Official data show that there were 188 death cases from cancer among 100 thousand people in 2014. About 8,000 people die because of cancer annually in Armenia but 40-45% of the patients go to doctor very late as a result of which the treatment becomes impossible and these people very often go through a phase of severe pain and suffering.
“From this perspective “Let us Overcome Cancer with Smile” International Conference was a good opportunity for the Armenian specialists to exchange ideas with highly experienced famous experts,” Gevorg Tamamyan, Lecturer Department of Oncology, Children's Hospital Chemotherapy Clinic complex pediatric oncologist / hematologist, scientific secretary of the conference, said.
He also informed that the Association of Hematology and Oncology signed a memorandum with "MD Anderson " Cancer Center after the Conference. “In the framework of this memorandum Armenian experts will be able to participate in the trainings which will contribute to the development of hematology and oncology in Armenia,” Tamamyan said. He emphasized the issue of the treatment of children in Armenia and said that about 65-70% of children are treated. “The most common is blood cancer among children, central nervous system tumors are in the second place,” the expert said.
Avo Artinyan, Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine and the Chairman of “Let us Overcome Cancer with Smile” International Conference, said that the Armenian specialists have no problem with knowledge and intellect. The problem is lack of corresponding infrastructures and investments.
“This issue is really important. It is necessary that people raise issues and demand more to improve the state of cancer in Armenia. So the awareness level issue is also very important,” he said.
Marina Konoplyova, Chair Professor of leukemia and stem cell transplantation at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, emphasized the lack of medicine of chemical therapy for children as a primary problem. “It should be provided by state. There are some basic medicines which are not expensive but are not provided in Armenia compared to Georgia,” she said.
Ara Vaporchyan, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Department of Cardio-thoracic Surgery / USA / USA thoracic Surgery Professional Committee Director, mentioned the high number of smokers in Armenia as a factor of cancer causing and the lack of medical infrastructures.
“Reforms are necessary for the decrease of level of smocking which will result in the decrease of the number of cancer patients. This should be fulfilled first. Young people should be prevented from smoking through education and laws, and as a result of legislative changes cigarettes should be made unavailable. ”Psychological aid is also necessary which is also effective,” he said.
He brought example from the USA practice. “When the number of the smokers was high 20 years ago, the number of lung cancer patients was also high. Now when the number of the smokers has reduced, the number of cancer patients has also reduced,” he added.
Avo Artinyan added that one of the urgent issues is the early diagnose of cancer. “Cancer is diagnosed in late stages in Armenia. For complete treatment and prevention, it should be diagnosed earlier and the death cases will also reduce,” he said.
Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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