22 October 2021
Lukashenko praises Belarus' cancer care delivery system
MINSK, 20 October (BelTA) – During the visit to the Alexandrov National Cancer Center of Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko was told that Belarus has built an efficient cancer care delivery system, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko asked how efficiently cancer services are delivered in Belarus, two decades after the country started building a cancer care delivery system with the involvement of the head of state.
The president was informed that Belarus managed not only to retain the existing system, but also to expand the cancer care delivery system. “We managed to preserve the system that existed in the Soviet Union, and not just preserve, but to significantly improve its physical infrastructure and build up the capacity of the cancer service. This matter is always of interest to our foreign partners, since there is no such centralized cancer service system abroad,” Sergei Polyakov, director of the center, noted.
The system created in Belarus is in many respects unique and is of great interest for foreign healthcare professionals. “We can be a role model for many countries in providing cancer care,” Sergei Polyakov said.
“The system is up and running. This is important for me,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
It was noted that primary care visits declined amidst the pandemic, which affected cancer diagnosis rates. However, this is a global trend.
In general, the quality of cancer care in Belarus is among the best in the world across a number of parameters. There were 150,000 cancer patients in Belarus in 2000. By 2021 their number doubled, while the number of cancer survivors who have been receiving follow-up care for more than five years tripled over this period. The death rate during the first year after cancer was diagnosed halved (down to 42%) and remains at this level, which suggests a decrease in the number of advanced cancer cases.
New technologies and protocols are introduced, which helps significantly increase cancer survival rates and improve the quality of life. Treatment of patients having bladder cancer is a case in point, Sergei Polyakov said. The bladder cancer death rate more than halved, and Belarus is now among top three countries in this indicator, along with Finland and the Republic of Korea. According to Sergei Polyakov, the center has performed 11,000 surgeries since the beginning of the year. For example, 66 surgeries were scheduled for this day alone.