Turkey spending 2.3 billon euro per year on cancer treatments

Turkey spends 2.3 billion euro per year on cancer treatments. This is the sixth-largest figure in Europe.

Professor Murat Tuncer, from the Ministry of Health’s cancer branch, explained the ministry’s current research and plans on the matter, telling the Anatolia news agency on Thursday: “We first researched cancer rates, carrying out a statistical analysis. We found that Turkey has 170,000 cancer patients, and that if nothing changes, this figure will rise to 1.5 million in 2030.”

Saying that Turkey spends one-fifth of the Ministry of Health’s budget on the treatments, Tuncer highlighted the harmful health effects of smoking by saying that the most common type of cancer in Turkey is lung cancer, primarily caused by smoking, as well as esophageal cancer.

In order to prevent this, the number of people smoking should decrease and non-smokers should avoid places where other people smoke.

“Unfortunately, in our country, half of those suffering from cancer still die because of a late diagnosis. There is a need for awareness, for early diagnosis, identifying symptoms early on and eliminating risks. We are working to raise awareness on these issues,” Tuncer said.

Saying that they are doing their best, Tuncer added: “We have organized a National Cancer Program and prepared seven international books over the last five years to inform the public about what Turkey has been doing recently to combat cancer. We are saving more than 2,000 lives every year through early diagnosis and effective treatment. We have also become a member of the International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC].”





07 October 2011, Friday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL