Health Minister Thanos Plevris spoke at the ECONOMIST GREECE’S AGENDA TO COMBAT CANCER conference that started on Tuesday in Athens.
At the beginning of his speech, he referred to the recent train tragedy, saying that the whole country is in mourning and especially the people who have lost their children, “before whom we must stand with a reticence and sense of shame, as we must do things better from now on.”
He pointed out that, after the pandemic, all countries expect an explosion of new cancer diagnoses, because in these three years the tests that should have been done were not done. Referring to the three-part treatment of cancer in Greece, he said that this is “prevention, diagnosis and treatment and patient survival”. Already, as he pointed out, there are three organised cancer prevention programmes and 6,113 women have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the early stages
Plevris underlined that these programmes will be extended to other forms of cancer, while referring to the issue of diagnosis, he said that it will be shorter and more accurate with better infrastructure. Speaking about treatments, he stressed that “patients should have innovative treatments” and spoke of increasing budgets to make this happen. Already, he continued, “home nursing and palliative care for oncology patients are also starting, which are among our priorities, as well as new technologies as we already have the register for childhood cancer ready and the goal is to soon have the overall registry for cancer in our country”.
As the health minister explained, “the goal is for children born after 2025 to never smoke in their lives”, while referring to the personal doctor he said that it is of key importance as he is the doctor who will monitor the prevention programmes. He also stated that it is not only a Greek but also a European goal “to eliminate cervical cancer in the coming years, but also to prevent other forms of cancer through vaccination and other methods, without having to treat it.”