Iran National Plans on the Occasion of World Cancer Day

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 10:34

Iranian deputy health minister has stated that Iran has developed several national cancer control programs in order to improve

According to an ISCA report, World Cancer Day, organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and celebrated each year on 4 February, is an opportunity to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering from cancer.

The year 2020 marks the midway point of the 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign, which acknowledges that everyone has the capacity to address the cancer burden.

In this regard, Reza Malekzadeh made the remarks that the incidence of cancer in men and women in Iran is 163 and 140 per 100,000, respectively, which is below the world average (219 and 183 for men and women).

He declared that in the world and in Iran, cancer prevalence will almost double over the next two decades, which is higher in developing countries than in developed ones, due to increased life expectancy and the aging population.

The national cancer control program was developed using the experiences of other countries, in particular, the World Health Organization’s recommendations and the experts’ opinions, he said, explaining, the program sets out the Ministry of Health’s roadmap up to the Iranian calendar year 1404 (March 2025- March 2026).

Malekzadeh added that the purpose of the program is to reduce cancer prevalence and mortality while improving the quality of patients’ lives, which can serve as a model for other countries, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

He went on to say that the result of this program is two important documents, namely, “development of national cancer care network” and “development of cancer human resources”, which resulted in the establishment of the early diagnostic centers.

It also improved Iran's position in terms of coverage, quality, and timeliness by modifying cancer registration processes, conducting numerous workshops and national reports, he highlighted.

Along the way, the national cancer screening system played an important role, which improves the quality of registration by online receiving of pathology centers’ information, he also added.

In addition to producing educational packages and videos to promote public knowledge, the Ministry implemented face-to-face training programs on early cancer prevention and diagnosis for PHC patients, he further said.

Also, every year, on the occasion of World Cancer Day, national and regional plans and campaigns are launched to raise awareness and gain support for cancer control, with the participation of medical universities and NGOs and charities, he explained.

He also noted that one of the most important measures has been to increase the quality of patients’ lives, balance treatment costs, diagnose and treat cancer according to world-class standards.

To this end, the Ministry, in collaboration with scientific associations and based on the results of questionnaires sent to a panel of experts, developed 12 cancer medicine guidelines, he added.

Malekzadeh further emphasized that insurers report that the use of these guides has reduced medicine consumption by about 10 percent.

Guidelines have been developed for common cancers such as breast, stomach, colon, lung, and prostate, he said, adding, to improve the quality of services, the "Chemotherapy Service Management Guidelines" were also announced and implemented.

In research and production of effective cancer science, Iran has been the most successful country in the Middle East, North Africa and among the Islamic countries over the past decade, he stated.

The Comprehensive Cancer Registry Program, which covers about 100 percent of the population, is now being published in collaboration with the medical universities with its detailed annual reports, he announced.

Supportive and palliative care is also an important program which holds training courses for general practitioners and nurses has been started, Malekzadeh concluded.

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