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 Cancer Awareness Campaign Planned
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Cancer Awareness Campaign Planned

 A campaign to raise awareness about cancer is to be launched on World Cancer Day on February 4, 2015.
Dr. Ali Motlagh, head of Cancer Office at the ministry of health told ISNA the campaign will be launched in collaboration with the education department, IRIB, community-based organizations and volunteers.  
‘’Educational programs, infomercials, city posters and contests are all part of the campaign,’’ which is designed to run for a short time, but the educational component will continue with the help of the education department at schools, since adolescents and young adults are the most influenced by the programs, he said.
Motlagh said the initiatives are aimed at raising awareness and the responsibility for stepping up preventive measures falls on the government. ‘’For instance, when it comes to tackling smoking, we need the Supreme Council of Health to get involved as do the other public and private sector institutions,’’ the official noted.

 Early Detection
The early diagnosis plan of some cancers was initiated a few years ago among people with high risks of developing such cancers.
‘’Based on consensus, early diagnosis can be beneficial for breast cancer, colon cancer and uterine cancer, but in recent revisions done at medical universities, early tests are being expanded to include other cancer types too,’’ Motlagh said, adding that “quality of cancer tests is also being improved.”
Several plans have been launched to make access to cancer drugs easier including their availability at state-controlled centers.
Also as part of the initiative, drugs that are known to be most effective have been marked to be the least expensive and are being distributed in different cities with a 90% insurance coverage. This will enable people in remote areas to obtain cancer drugs almost free of cost.

 Figures
Motlagh said prevalence of cancer in Iran is 134 per 100,000 population among men and 128 per 100,000 among women, which is less than the global average of 205 for men and 165 for women.  
‘’The top three reasons for cancer in Iran are population aging, environmental causes like air pollution and CO2 emissions which is higher than the global average,’’ he noted.
Pointing to wrong lifestyles among Iranians, he said ‘’10% of the people smoke and obesity is a problem among almost half the population, which is dealing with it at different levels.’’  Nearly 40% of cancers are preventable and besides government efforts – like levying heavy taxes on cigarettes, people themselves need to take care by making lifestyle changes.

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