Health Minister Dr. Ahmet Demircan attended the meeting of “Current Topics in Cancer” organized on the occasion of the National Week of Cancer. Dr. Demircan stated that cancer was the second cause of death after the cardiovascular diseases but Turkey made important progress in that area. He added that unbalanced diet and physical inactivity were the critical health threats and those problems must be worked on and eliminated without delay.
Concerning rapid increase of obesity among children, Dr Demircan stated that “This is an alarming situation. We are working in this area too. We took important steps to reduce the diets rich in carbohydrate. Prohibition of such advertorials in children programs is an important step made by RTÜK. Reducing by half the starch-based sugar is another important step. But what is the most important is to raise awareness in the society. If we achieve this, we can obtain greater results.”
Dr. Dermican emphasized the necessity of awareness by stating the adverse effects of technology addiction, tobacco and alcohol etc. on the human health.
Underlining importance of early detection in cancer, the Health Minister said that “Ministry of Health is providing screening activities through KETEMs (Cancer Early Diagnosis, Screening and Training Center) in 81 provinces. We are working to increase them. We have completed 7 million screenings including 2 million 200 thousands screening for breast cancer, around 3 million screening for cervical cancer and around 2 million screenings for rectal cancer. We target to increase this figure to 9 million in 2018.”
According to statements of the Health Minister, Turkey has an exemplary position in cancer treatment, and by increasing the number of beds in palliative treatment centers, they enabled to support the patients and their families mentally, physically and psycho-socially. They target to increase the number of palliative beds to 4 thousands in 2018.
Dr. Demircan reminded that the Cancer Institute was established under TÜSEB and the “Cancer Gene Project” was conducted by the Institute.
Awards to the most successful provinces in cancer screening
Following his speech, the Minister Dr. Demircan presented the awards of the most successful provinces in cancer screening activities and wished them greater achievements.