Improving access to innovative therapies for high-risk breast cancer patients
At the signed ceremony. VNS Photo Thanh Hai
Globally, breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer among women and ranks fifth in terms of mortality among all kinds of cancer with 626,679 deaths each year. Vietnam has nearly 165,000 new cases of cancer, of which breast cancer accounts for 9.2 per cent, or about 15,000 cases, and more than 6,000 people die each year from breast cancer. It is estimated that by 2030, new breast cancer cases in Vietnam will reach over 20,000.
Representatives of the Vietnam Medical Association and Roche Vietnam signed up to a project on improving access to innovative therapies for high-risk breast cancer patients in Vietnam for the 2020–25 period on December 9.
This is the first specialised and comprehensive project for breast cancer patients in Vietnam, deployed in key hospitals nationwide with several crucial healthcare stakeholders. The project includes various activities, from raising awareness and increasing early diagnosis to enhancing treatment capability as well as building databases, which tackle key challenges in managing and treating breast cancer.
"Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. I believe this project will bring about many improvements and beneficial values to the healthcare system and cancer patients," said Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan at the signing ceremony.
Thuan said about 55 per cent of breast cancer patients went to hospital in the late stages of cancer, compared to 80 per cent in the previous 10 years, according to a recent survey. The rate of cures in cancer in general and breast cancer in particular was rising thanks to the application of advances in diagnostic techniques, testing and biological therapies and early detection.
The five-year project will be implemented by the Vietnam Medical Association with the support of Roche Vietnam. It aims to increase the rate of early breast cancer detection among women and the number of patients at high-risk with access to advanced therapies.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer.
“The project will bring tangible benefits for breast cancer patients in Vietnam by enhancing the healthcare system and capability. Roche Vietnam is proud to contribute to the efforts of key stakeholders in kickstarting this project and believe in a better future," said Girish Mulye, Chief Representative of Roche Vietnam.
The project will focus activities on raising public awareness about breast cancer and increasing the number of people diagnosed early at participating hospitals. It will also help strengthening capacity in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and optimising the existing database from the National Cancer Institute and Vietnam Social Security to build a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment data source.
“Treating breast cancer with effective therapies as soon as possible will help prevent cancer recurrence, provide a chance of cure for the patient as well as reduce the socio-economic burden. The project will help improve capabilities of treating cancer for healthcare professionals, reducing hospital overload for central hospitals and improving the quality of patient treatment,” said President of Vietnam Medical Association Nguyen Thi Xuyen.