Chief oncologist of the Ministry of Health: I-II stage cancers can be treated


Cancer is aleading cause of death worldwide. Radiation, various viruses, carcinogenic substances and many other factors may be the reason of the cancer development. On World Cancer Day, celebrated on February 4 each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Cancer Research Agency share the information with the international community in order to prevent the disease. The main goal of this international day is to raise awareness of cancer, one of the most terrible diseases of modern civilization, and to focus on the prevention, detection and treatment of this disease. Traditionally, cancer awareness activities and social events are also being held in Azerbaijan, and the population is regularly involved in cancer screening. On the eve of World Cancer Day, the National Center of Oncology (NCO) has been carrying out awareness-raising activities for several years. Today one of such events has been held at the Park Boulevard shopping center.

Azad Karimli, Chief Physician of the National Center of Oncology, Chief Oncologist of the Ministry of Health, in his interview with AZERTAC spoke about the main purposes of the event and the number of oncological patients registered in the country. He said: “The main purpose to organize the event is to improve the modern diagnostic process of breast cancer, to reduce mortality rates, to raise awareness of risk factors and to increase knowledge on self-examination techniques. Unfortunately, as in the whole world, the number of oncological patients in Azerbaijan is increasing. In 2018, 49132 oncological patients were registered in the country. In 2017, this figure was 45756. However, the process of cancerincidence escalating is practically going up with the population growth in the country. In areas with high population density, statistics of not only cancer but also other diseases are increasing. In comparison with other countries, the number of cancer patients in our country is not very high. In addition, there are currently 17592 patients living with tumour for five or more years in our country.”

The Chief oncologist of the Republic advised patients to consult a doctor at theearly stage of the disease. It greatly increases the chances of recovery in some types of cancer. “Stage I-II cancersare being treated. However, the treatment becomes more difficult at later stages. People avoid consulting a doctor because they are afraid to hear a severe diagnosis. As in the rest of the world, in Azerbaijan breast and fallopian tubes cancer are more common among women;lung, trachea, prostate and bronchial cancer are more common among men. This disease is more common in people of the age of over 50 years. But people younger ages also suffer from this disease. Fortunately, the disease is treated more quickly in children in comparison with the elderly. Do not be afraid of the word cancer, and at an early stage it can be treated. I think it is important to take prophylactic measures to prevent the disease.

I recommend women undergo mammography after the age of 35-40, as it the most modern and accurate method for detecting breast cancer. Cancer is also a disease that nobody is safe from, and people have come to the view that oncology can end their life at the time of diagnosis. But this is not true. There are many people who have been living with this diagnosis for many years. It is necessary to undergo a medical examination once a year to prevent this disease. Unfortunately, all over the worldoncologists get aware of the disease when it is at the late III-IVstages. And not only should the oncologists be responsible for the fight against the disease. Although cancer awareness campaigns have been improved lately, television channels should be actively involved in this process and should provide the population with more wide information about cancer. For example, some are unaware of the Paediatric Oncology Clinic in the country. In addition, during our visits to regions, we see extraordinary cases. People carry the disease to the most critical condition. I cannot blame these people, because all of these are due to ignorance" Azad Karimli added.

As a part of the awareness campaign, leaflets on the prevention of cancer are distributed, as well as experienced oncologists answer the questions of citizens.