About 30,000 cancer patients are diagnosed in Israel each year, and approx. 11,000 die of the disease each year. Cancer morbidity and mortality rates can be reduced by about 50%.
World Cancer Day is marked every year on February 4th as a global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise worldwide awareness and promote the fight against cancer disease in a positive, action-inspired way. The objective is to save millions of lives each year by raising awareness and improving behavior in order to reduce the risk of morbidity, while calling on governments and individuals worldwide to take action.
UICC statistics show that 30%-50% of all cancer incidences can be prevented. By investing resources and implementing strategies in prevention early detection and treatment, about 3.7 million people can be saved each year. UICC statistics also show that about 10 million people worldwide die of cancer each year. Cancer is the second most prevalent death cause worldwide. The annual financial cost of treating cancer diseases worldwide is estimated at about 1.16 billion dollars. An investment of 11.4 billion dollars in cancer prevention strategies will lead to a saving for 100 billion dollar in cancer treatment costs.
Moshe Bar-Haim, Israel Cancer Association CEO: "Many researches today point to risk factors that may increase the risk of cancer. Morbidity and mortality rates can be reduced by maintaining a healthy lifestyle: avoiding smoking, proper nutrition, physical activity, maintaining a balanced body weight and avoiding alcohol. This should be joined by sun smart behavior, avoiding exposure to passive smoking and other carcinogens."
Prof. Abraham Kuten, Israel Cancer Association Chairman: "Statistics from recent years show Israel as ranked low in cancer mortality rates amongst the OECD countries. This seems to stem from the fact that patients in Israel are diagnosed at an early stage of prevalent cancer diseases, thanks to national screening programs initiated by the ICA, and due to receiving optimal, high-quality care, so that survival and recovery rates are high, resulting in relatively low mortality rates."
UICC: We must aspire close the cancer care gap between all countries
On 4 February, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) will launch a new three-year campaign for World Cancer Day that brings together individuals, organizations and governments around the world in an effort to create awareness and help close the gap in cancer care.
The campaign highlights the significant barriers related to socioeconomic factors, stigma and discrimination that prevent many people around the world from accessing life-saving preventive services, diagnostics, treatment and care. These barriers lead to wide discrepancies in the risks of developing and surviving cancer.
Prof. Anil d’Cruz, President of the UICC: "By 2030, it is estimated that 75% of all premature deaths due to cancer will occur in low- and middle-income countries. Importantly, this care gap is not only between high- and low-resource settings. Disparities exist within most countries among different populations due to discrimination or assumptions that encompass age, cultural contexts, gender norms, sexual orientation, ethnicity, income, education levels and lifestyle issues. These factors potentially reduce a person’s chance of surviving cancer – and they can and must be addressed.”
OECD Statistics for Israel
OECD statistics show that Israel is among the leading country in mammography screening rates. The national mammography program was initiated and implemented by the ICA, and has been operating in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and all HMOs.
The statistics further show that lung cancer is the most prevalent cancer disease amongst men, followed by colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. Amongst women in the OECD countries, the most prevalent cancer diseases are lung, breast and colorectal cancer.
Summary of the ICA Mobile Mammography Unit Activity for 2021
The mobile mammography unit activity aims to close the gaps in compliance to mammography screening amongst different sectors of the population, and between women living in social and geographical peripheries, which is vital to early detection of breast cancer – a life-saving examination. The ICA has led the initiative and implemented the mammography mobile unit for over 20 years, and a professional team of Assuta Medical Centers, who conduct and decipher the screening tests, operates it.
During 2021, the mobile mammography unit reached about 120 cities nation-wide, and was in use for 251 days in which 18,848 screening tests were conducted. The average screening rate in the past two years has reached approx. 70 tests a day.
Since its launch, approx. 250,000 mammography screenings were conducted by the mobile mammography unit. The unit team is comprised of women only. The screening is free of charge and is part of the HMO health basket given to women in the appropriate age, according to the national mammography program applied by all HMOs. The mobile unit is spacious and offers complete comfort to the patient, with an examination room quipped with the mammography device. The unit is monitored by the Ministry of Health's quality control program, which the ICA helps fund. Since its launch, the mobile unit has succeeded in significantly reducing disparities between the various population sectors, making the screening test accessible to women from low socio-economic background and peripheries. The ICA mobile mammography unit continues to operate using a professional Assuta team, accompanied by an ICA-funded annual information campaign, in order to make early detection accessible to women. By doing so, the mobile unit has played a vital role in reducing breast cancer mortality in Israel.
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