"Serbia has highest cancer mortality rate in Europe"
Serbia tops the list of European countries with highest cancer mortality rates - a number that grows 2.5 percent on average each year.Source: Tanjug
Thus indicates that the problem of malignant tumors in this country is extremely serious, President of the Serbian Society for the Fight against Cancer Slobodan Cikaric told a conference held in Belgrade on Wednesday.
This oncologist said the reason behind the increase in cancer patients and those who succumb to the disease is NATO's 1999 campaign of air strikes on Serbia, when the Western military alliance used 15 tons of depleted uranium.
Cikaric added that based on the report for 2012 produced by the Cancer Register of the Institute for Public Health Dr. Milan Jovanovic Batut, the total number of new cases reached 36,408, while 21,269 people died of cancer.
According to the report, lung cancer was the dominant form of the disease for men, while the most common cause of death among women was breast cancer.
The doctor pointed out that data for 2014 is still pending, but that the expected number of new cases will reach about 40,000, "bearing in mind the annual growth of the mortality rate."
Last February, the World Health Organization presented its data on malignant tumor trends worldwide, which projected 14 million new cases of the disease in 2014, and 24 million in 2034.
"Following this trend we expect to have about 40,000 new cases in Serbia, which means there will be 5,512 new cancer patients per one million inhabitants," said Cikaric.
This fact, he said, means that all those "directly or indirectly" working in oncology in Serbia should be aware of a very serious problem.
The number of the expected new cases for Serbia in 2014 will be 2.8 times higher than the global average per one million people, he explained, adding that this spelled out "a Serbian catastrophe." According to Cikaric, "unlike here, in developed countries the mortality rate has been declining an average of one percent per year over the past 20 years."
Speaking about NATO's depleted uranium ammunition, the doctor said this material with a half-life of 4.5 billion years "remains in Serbia." Radioactive matter ingested or inhaled in the past is now causing cancer in people, according to Cikaric.
This oncologist added that primary and secondary oncological prevention and palliative care remain "at zero position," while one of the key therapeutic modalities - radio therapy - is at the lowest level in Serbia compared to European standards.