Cancer kills 140 Romanians daily and the disease is diagnosed late, according to data presented by the Federation of Cancer Patients Associations (FABC). The lack of information & screening programs is the main cause for the late detection of the disease.
The federation also called for a National Oncology Plan, which would help change things. Such a plan should cover screening programs, access to investigations, novel therapies and genetic testing, which would lead to personalized treatments. A National Oncology Register is also needed, the federation said.
In 2018, Romania recorded 83,461 new cancer cases and 50,902 cancer deaths, according to Globocan data (Globocan Cancer Observatory). The federation said many of these deaths could have been avoided if a strategy to fight the disease was in place.
A report, published in the European Oncology Journal in 2013, showed that the number of cancer deaths doubled in Romania from 2009 to 2018.
Pulmonary cancer is the most common one, among both men and women. It is followed by breast cancer, prostate cancer, urinary bladder cancer, and gastric cancer. Among men, the most common is pulmonary cancer, followed by prostate, urinary bladder, stomach and liver cancers. Among women, the most common is breast cancer, followed by cervical, pulmonary, endometrial and ovarian cancers.
The underfunded oncology program and the lack of doctors do not help either. For instance, the Oncology Institute in Bucharest has three radiotherapy machines: one of them is 17 years old, the other 7 years old, Stiri.tvr.ro reported. The one purchased in 2002 was sometimes used even 18 hours a day. It is to be replaced with a new one, set to become functional in April.