Cancer screening programmes and their informational support: situation in the Czech Republic in 2014

A special issue of Klinicka onkologie (the official journal of the Czech Society for Oncology), published in December 2014, is dedicated to the assessment of cancer prevention efforts and results in the Czech Republic. A team of authors not only described the current situation in cancer prevention programmes in the Czech Republic, but also pointed out weak spots in cancer prevention efforts.


Ladislav Dusek and Ondrej Majek from the Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses of the Masaryk University (IBA MU) and the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic (IHIS) are editors of this publication, entitled “Background information and the status of cancer screening programmes in the Czech Republic” [1]. Fourteen original papers [2–15] were written by leading Czech experts in the field, dealing with issues such as the epidemiology of preventable cancers in the Czech Republic and in comparison with other countries, the current status of background information needed to assess cancer screening programmes, the conception of population-based screening in the Czech Republic, the methodology and first results of personalised invitations of Czech citizens to cancer screening programmes, the latest results and performance indicators of the current screening programmes, and last but not least the need for an effective communication of cancer prevention issues to the lay public.

A review justifying the need for cancer prevention [2] provides a strong evidence for the effectiveness of cancer prevention programmes. Cancer screening programmes are an essential part of the national strategy for cancer control. Basic epidemiological characteristics of colorectal cancer, breast cancer in women and cervical cancer [3] involve high incidence rates of these three malignancies in the Czech population, as well as stabilised or even decreasing mortality rates, which inevitably leads to a significant increase in the prevalence of patients. The steadily growing proportion of breast cancers diagnosed at early stages is a good news, as these cancers are likely to be treated successfully. The bad news is that a high proportion of cervical and colorectal cancer cases in the Czech Republic is still diagnosed at late stages. The international comparison also highlights a significant burden of colorectal cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer in the Czech population [4].

The Czech cancer screening programmes are equipped with a comprehensive information system, of which the foundations were laid in 2002 and which since then has been in development, responding to new challenges [5]. The project of personalised invitations of citizens to cancer screening programmes is one of them; its methodology and the very first results are described in a paper by Dusek et al. [6].

Due attention is paid to a summary of results of national screening programmes for breast cancer [7], cervical cancer [8] and colorectal cancer [9, 10]. The National Breast Cancer Screening Programme has achieved the most encouraging results so far, covering the highest proportion of the eligible population, and contributing to a decrease in mortality rates despite growing incidence rates [7]. Results of the National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme have been very good as well: both incidence and mortality rates have seen a decrease in the long term [8]. Outcomes of the National Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme, however, cannot be considered a success. Despite a growing coverage of the population by the faecal occult blood test (FOBT), the participation rate is not high enough in order to make a difference in colorectal cancer epidemiology [9]. And although screening colonoscopies in the Czech Republic have shown both high quality and sufficient capacity, the required participation rate has not been achieved in this screening modality either [10].

Quality and safety of all three cancer screening programmes in the Czech Republic is thoroughly monitored by means of standardised performance indicators [11]. The paper by Majek et al. [12] describes performance indicators of the National Breast Cancer Screening Programme in more detail: their regularly monitored values prove a gradual increase in quality of breast cancer screening in the Czech Republic, which is thus in full compliance with international recommendations for quality assurance.

Official portals of National Cancer Screening Programmes (www.mamo.cz, www.cervix.cz, www.kolorektum.cz) are an essential part of the informational support for cancer screening programmes in the Czech Republic, providing all the latest and relevant information to the general public and health professionals [13]. Various non-profit organisations and civic associations play an important role in the promotion of cancer screening programmes [14]. In particular, the platform www.crcprevention.eu [15] is focused on colorectal cancer, which presents a significant burden of cancer across Europe.

mamo.cz, cervix.cz, kolorektum.cz: official portals of National Cancer Screening Programmes in the Czech Republic www.crcprevention.eu - information and communication platform focusing on the promotion of colorectal cancer prevention
www.mamo.cz, www.cervix.cz, www.kolorektum.cz - official portals of National Cancer Screening Programmes in the Czech Republic www.crcprevention.eu - information and communication platform focusing on the promotion of colorectal cancer prevention

In terms of cancer prevention, the Czech Republic has much space for improvement when compared with other countries. Although the Czech population is among those with the highest cancer burden in Europe, a complex national policy for primary cancer prevention has not been developed yet, not even in smoking prevention efforts [16]. Moreover, the prevalence of obesity among Czech citizens is very high when compared to other European countries, and obesity is a well-known risk factor for cancer. Sadly, the Czech Republic has the highest proportion of cancers related to overweight or obesity [17]. In the Editorial of this special issue of Klinicka onkologie, Dr Dusek and Dr Majek expressed their hope that the published information sources would help policy-makers take the right decisions which would in turn strengthen key aspects for cancer prevention in the Czech Republic.

Reference

  1. Dušek, L., Májek, O. a kol. Background information and the status of cancer screening programmes in the Czech Republic. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2). 136 s. ISSN 0862-495X.
  2. Dušek, L., Májek, O., Mužík, J., Pavlík, T., Koptíková, J., Gregor, J. Objective need for cancer prevention in the Czech Republic and Europe, and the state thereof. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 7-18. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S7.
  3. Dušek, L., Mužík, J., Malúšková, D., Májek, O., Pavlík, T., Koptíková, J., Gregor, J., Brabec, P., Abrahámová, J. Epidemiology of screening-targeted cancers according to new data of the Czech National Cancer Registry. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 19-39. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S19.
  4. Dušek, L., Mužík, J., Malúšková, D., Gregor, J. Epidemiology of cancers with implemented screening programmes in an international comparison. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 40-48. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S40.
  5. Dušek, L., Májek, O., Klimeš, D., Blaha, M., Brabec, P., Gregor, J. State and development of background information for the evaluation of Czech cancer screening programmes. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 49-58. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S49.
  6. Dušek, L., Májek, O., Blaha, M., Daneš, J., Zavoral, M., Seifert, B., Dvořák, V., Skovajsová, M., Suchánek, Š., Jung, T., Brzková, M., Klika, P., Klimeš, D., Koptíková, J., Gregor, J. Approach to population-based screening in the Czech Republic, methodology and first results of the personalised invitation of citizens to cancer screening programmes. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 59-68. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S59.
  7. Skovajsová, M., Májek, O., Daneš, J., Bartoňková, H., Ngo, O., Dušek, L. Results of the Czech National Breast Cancer Screening Programme. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 69-78. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S69.
  8. Dušková, J., Beková, A., Dvořák, V., Májek, O., Dušek, L. Results of the Czech National Cervical Cancer Screening Programme. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 79-86. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S79.
  9. Seifert, B., Májek, O., Zavoral, M., Král, N., Suchánek, Š., Ngo, O., Dušek, L. Results of the Czech National Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme – faecal occult blood tests. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 87-97. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S87.
  10. Suchánek, Š., Májek, O., Zavoral, M., Seifert, B., Ngo, O., Dušek, L. Results of the Czech National Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme – colonoscopy examinations. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 98-105. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S98.
  11. Májek, O., Ngo, O., Daneš, J., Zavoral, M., Dvořák, V., Klimeš, D., Dušek, L. Performance indicators in screening programmes. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 106-112. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S106.
  12. Májek, O., Bartoňková, H., Daneš, J., Skovajsová, M., Dušek, L. Implementation of performance indicators in the Czech Breast Cancer Screening Programme – results of the regular monitoring. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 113-123. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S113.
  13. Gregor, J., Dušek, L., Májek, O., Šnajdrová, L. National web portals as an official communication platform of cancer screening programmes. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 124-127. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S124.
  14. Gregor, J., Májek, O., Dušek, L., Šnajdrová, L. Role and importance of civil society organisations in the support of cancer screening. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 128-130. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S128.
  15. Dušek, L., Poc Pavel, Májek, O., Suchánek, Š., Seifert, B., Gregor, J., Zavoral, M. New European information and communication platform striving for improved care for colorectal cancer patients – www.crcprevention.eu. Klinická onkologie 2014, 27(Suppl. 2): 131-137. doi: 10.14735/amko20142S131.
  16. Tobacco consumption in the Czech Republic ranks among the highest globally, while anti-smoking measures are among the poorest worldwide (onconet.cz, 2 April 2014)
  17. Cancers in 2012 due to overweight and obesity: the Czech Republic has the highest proportion in Europe (onconet.cz, 26 November 2014)

 

18.12.2014


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