Cancer cases could be cut by third

Early diagnosis is one of the best ways of reducing cancer swissinfo.ch

Swiss experts say better coordination in the fight against cancer could lead to a one-third reduction in the prevalence of the disease.

This content was published on January 28, 2005 - 17:31

Cancer affects four out of ten Swiss and is responsible for a quarter of all deaths in the country.

At a news conference on Friday, Oncosuisse – the Swiss Federation against Cancer - proposed a three-pronged approach to fight cancer.

It said better efforts had to be made to improve prevention, recognise symptoms earlier and to treat and care for cancer patients.

Doris Schopper, the author of new recommendations by Oncosuisse, said at least a third of all cases could be prevented without increasing the money spent to fight the disease.

Every year, 31,000 new cases are registered and 15,000 people die of cancer.

Cancer is responsible for the most deaths in Switzerland behind heart and circulatory diseases.

Lung cancer

Schopper said funding was often misplaced. As an example, she said that Switzerland spends SFr360 million ($302 million) each year on treating lung cancer patients “with relatively little effect”.

In comparison, only SFr20 million is spent on anti-smoking campaigns, which would prevent people contracting the disease in the first place.

The Federation president, Reto Obrist, criticised a lack of coordination between the federal and regional authorities.

He called for the creation of a national registry on cancer patients.

The recommendations are part of a new Oncosuisse campaign supported financially by the federal and cantonal health offices.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

31,000 new cases are registered every year.
15,000 people die of cancer each year.
Cancer is the second highest cause of death in the country.
One in every two Swiss men and a third of all women develop cancer during their lives.

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