Research Projects


Improving cancer care coordination and screening in Latvia and Slovakia

IARC Subcontractor

Project summary

Latvia and Slovakia are lagging among the EU Member States regarding their performance indicators related to the cancer care continuum and particularly their cancer screening programmes. In Latvia, cancer registries are outdated and have not produced reliable statistics in the last two years. Data registration platforms are incapable of assuring data capture and exchange corresponding to the current requirements. Cancer screening in Latvia lacks several key components of an organized programme. Most importantly, there is a lack of clearly defined responsibilities that have frequently been migrating between public institutions; several ministries contribute to cancer policies, but the coordination level is not always satisfactory. There is no accredited centre for cancer care that may contribute to the strategic planning of cancer control. However, the Ministry of Health in Latvia is committed to improve the situation. In Slovakia, the Ministry of Health intends to prepare a new National cancer action plan for 2021-2025, in line with the “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan”. The plan aims to reduce the number of new cancer cases and death; and improve the quality of life of cancer patients through systematic and equitable implementation of evidence-based strategies for prevention, early detection, treatment, supportive and terminal care, and research into finding innovative solutions and evaluating results. The overarching goal of this proposal is to propose a strategic plan and a roadmap tailored to the needs and expectations of the two countries. Implementation of these strategic plans will contribute to the reduction of cancer mortality in both countries by improving population-based cancer registration (Latvia), achieving comprehensive cancer care and research infrastructure/network accreditation (Latvia), improving coverage and quality of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening programmes (Latvia and Slovakia), and better awareness of stakeholders (Slovakia).

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