Czechia's Day Against Cancer: Country raises awareness of disease

Over 300,000 people are currently being treated for cancer in Czechia, a disease that kills 27,000 people annually in the country.

Thomas Smith ČTK

Written by Thomas SmithČTK Published on 10.05.2023 09:30:00 (updated on 10.05.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

May 10 marks Czech Day Against Cancer, established to raise awareness of the risk factors that contribute to cancer and help support victims of the disease in Czechia.

Spotlight on lung cancer

A recent press conference of doctors decided that the focus of this year’s observatory event will be lung cancer, which kills about 5,400 Czechs every year. An estimated 6,000 new people get lung cancer in Czechia annually.

According to the president of the Czech Pneumology and Physiology Society of the Czech Medical Society Martina Vašákova, smoking marijuana and tobacco can increase the risk of lung cancer by up to 22 times. 

The Czech Day Against Cancer will also focus on initiatives that help people quit smoking. According to Vašáková, only 30 percent of people who try to quit smoking succeed. Around one in four people in Czechia over the age of 15 smoke tobacco.

Nationwide charity event to support cancer patients

The Czech League Against Cancer will organize a nationwide charity event that will raise money via the sale of marigold flowers tied with a blue ribbon. The initiative in 2022 raised over CZK 18 million, which went to support cancer patients and their treatment. 

Cancer in Czechia: An outlook

  • More than 87,000 patients are diagnosed annually with malignant cancer in the Czech Republic
  • Approximately 27,000 patients die annually in connection with a malignant tumor, or about one every 20 minutes
  • In total, approximately 600,000 people in Czechia live with malignant cancer or with a history of having the disease
  • Skin cancer is the most commonly treated cancer in Czechia, with 72,000 diagnosed patients receiving treatment from VZP in 2022
  • Prague has the highest rate of cancer patients receiving treatment in a specialized oncology center, at 68 percent, while Karlovy Vary has the lowest, at 43 percent
  • Around 7,200 women in Czechia are newly diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Czechia

    Sources: VZP, Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics

Residents of Prague who pass through the lower part of Wenceslas Square between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. today will notice the yellow information tents set up by the Czech League Against Cancer. Doctors, an oncologist, and a dermatologist will be available for consultation between midday and 6 p.m.

A list of all donation and sales points for the Czech Day Against Cancer (including information stalls) can be found here. They will be open during different times; people can buy the marigold flowers until May 14.

Czech measures to reduce cancer rates

Last year, state health insurance firm VZP spent over CZK 19 billion on treating around 300,000 cancer patients in Czechia – a year-on-year rise of CZK 2.5 billion. 

The National Cancer Control Plan of the Czech Republic 2030 proposes stronger measures to prevent tumors, detect them earlier, and improve cancer treatment. The project features campaigns that motivate people to change their lifestyles and aims to simplify access to care to help improve early-detection rates.

According to Czechia’s 2023 oncology profile compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Czechia has an above-average number of newly diagnosed cancer patients in the EU. This is due to relatively high smoking, drinking, and obesity rates nationwide.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Czechia after heart-related diseases, and the most common killer in people under the age of 65. 

For example, the National Oncology Register reported in 2021 that Czechia ranked second in Europe for kidney cancer, and third for pancreatic cancer.

Amid increasing incidence rates for many cancers nationwide, the Czech Day Against Cancer will raise awareness nationwide about this omnipresent issue – with the aim of saving thousands of lives.

Want to donate instantly? Send a text stating "DMS KVET [value]" to 87 777, where "value" denotes how much you would like to donate. The official website states that you can either donate CZK 30, CZK 60, CZK 90, or CZK 190. If you wish to donate CZK 190, send "DMS KVET 190" to 87 777. You can also donate here to the Czech Cancer Research Foundation.

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