In terms of breast cancer incidence, Serbia is in the group of medium-risk countries, while in terms of patient mortality, it ranks second in Europe.
In addition to early diagnosis, the key to reducing the high mortality as a result of this disease is the availability of modern therapies for different types of breast cancer. These are the conclusions of the 11th Congress of Oncology in Novi Sad, which brought together 500 oncologists from different parts of Europe and the world.
Important oncological issues were discussed at the first virtual congress in Novi Sad, postponed due to the epidemiological situation caused by COVID-19, with reference to the treatment of patients during the state of emergency and their difficulties in receiving therapies.
Statistics show that 4,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Serbia and the main cause of the high mortality rate is metastasis, which develops in one in three women with early-stage breast cancer.
According to doctors, only 27% of patients with metastatic breast cancer survive more than five years since the diagnosis, because nearly all become resistant to standard therapies over time.
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However, Lazar Popović, one of the congress organizers and a specialist in oncological internal medicine at the Vojvodina Institute of Oncology, points out that a big step has recently been made in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, a type that occurs in 70% of patients – HER + and HER2-.
The results of the latest therapies in that segment significantly influence the improvement of patients’ quality of life and reduce the risk of death by up to 30%.
“In recent years, we have seen great efforts made by the Ministry of Health and the State Health Insurance Fund to provide cutting-edge innovative therapies for various categories of patients, including women with HER2 + breast cancer. However, about two-thirds of patients with advanced cancer are still waiting for an innovative therapy, ”Popović said.
This therapy for metastatic cancer subtypes HER + and HER2 is the result of ten years of research and, in addition to prolonging the life of patients, it also has a significant impact on improving the quality of life too.
This post is also available in: Italiano