As every year, this March Caritas joins the Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in Georgia, accounting for 6.9% of all cancers. It’s also one of the most preventable and treatable types. That is why awareness is so important. Caritas Czech Republic works to contribute to increasing cancer awareness and prevention in Georgia.
Screening and early detection is the key to effective treatment
Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer worldwide, and Georgia is no exception. Colorectal cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people over 50 years of age. However, incidence in those younger than 50 is on the rise.
Despite its high incidence, colorectal cancer is unique in that it is one of the most preventable and, if found early, most treatable forms of cancer. And the best part is that screening is easy through the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and other related tests. Therefore, awareness raising about regular screening and early detection is crucial.
Caritas Czech Republic increases cancer awareness and prevention in Georgia
Under the awareness raising campaign Cancer Screening Awareness Challenge, Caritas Czech Republic reminds the population about the importance of prevention and screening of oncologic diseases.
„We not only provide services through our partner – Zugdidi Screening Center in West Georgia, but also work to raise public awareness. It is noteworthy that previously mostly women attended the awareness campaigns, now men are equally represented. We continue this approach by reminding citizens to do regular check-ups exactly when they don’t have any symptoms,” says Tamar Kurtanidze, projects manager at Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia.
Georgia has a cancer screening program not only for colorectal cancer, which involves conducting a screening of the population aged 50-70 every 2 years but also two more breast and cervical cancer screening programs are available in Georgia since 2008. In Samegrelo region, the programs are accessible geographically since November 2019 free of charge for the population of region at Zugdidi Screening Center, which was opened by Caritas Czech Republic in October 2019.
Despite the pandemic, the Zugdidi Screening Center provided free-of-charge screening services to almost 1500 persons since its opening. The awareness-raising campaign on cancer prevention and importance of early detection reached 1800 persons in 2020 who also received information about Covid-19 preventive measures.
The implementation of the screening programs is financially supported by NCDC (National Center for Disease Control and Public Health) through the National Screening Program of Georgia.