No drop in spread of cancer deaths

While elsewhere in Europe the rate of cancer fatalities has dipped by 1%, in Latvia it has remained level, Oncological Chemotherapy Association head Gunta Purkalne told Latvian Television’s morning news program Panorāma Friday.

“We want the trend to go down, too,” Purkalne said, but added that the rates of cancer infections in Latvia as well as in other EU member states keep rising.

She explained that Latvia is having trouble reducing the rate of fatalities caused by cancer because many cases aren’t diagnosed until advanced stages due to a lack of financing and administrative problems, such as discouragingly long lines to see an oncologist. Unfortunately cancer is deceptive – a person can feel fine while the illness has already arrived in its first stages, she warned, emphasizing the need to promote patient screenings for early detection of the disease.

She added that there are multiple factors which can combine to cause cancer, among them genetic history, environmental factors and personal habits – smoking, excess weight, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyles and so on.

Last month on World Cancer Day the medical community urged to public to take advantage of state-sponsored screening programs for breast, uterine and intestinal cancers. It’s possible undergoing such a test could save many lives.

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