ALGIERS- 70% of the objectives set in the National Cancer Plan 2015-2019 had been achieved, underlined Professor Messaoud Zitouni, in charge of following up and assessing this plan, initiated by President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
In an interview with APS on the eve of the World Cancer Day (4 February), Professor Zitouni said that “70% of the objectives of the National Cancer Plan were achieved,” pointing out that “a real assessment of this programme could be achieved only after the completion of all phases and when the deadline expires (late 2019 or early 2020).”
Comprising eight main lines, this plan emphasized four types of cancer representing 50% of the total number of the most common types in Algeria, estimated according to the national cancer register at 50,000 new cases per year, he said, pointing out the cancer of breast, colon, rectum, lung and prostate recorded the highest rate.
The expert underscored the breast cancer early detection campaign launched by the Ministry of Health as part of this plan in seven (07) pilot cities namely Biskra, Laghouat, Tipaza, Constantine, Jijel, Boumerdes, Tlemcen and others concerning colon and rectum cancers in three pilot provinces, namely Annaba, Batna and Bejaia.
These two types are among the cancers that could be reduced through primary prevention, early detection and healthy food, according to Zitouni, underlining, in this regard, that between 13,000 and 14,000 new breast cancer cases were recorded.
Breast cancer, which is ranked first, affects women, aged 40 and over, 80% to 90% of whom consult at an advanced stage, unlike developed countries where the disease affects women aged over 50.
The scientific researches didn’t deal in the past with the real causes of this disease, according to the expert who underscored the setting up, in Oran, of a high commission in charge of this mission.
He stressed the need to “take new organizational measures to revive the health system,” calling for the organization of cancer early detection campaigns on fruitful scientific bases.
Concerning medical follow-up, Zitouni stressed the progress made in chemotherapy, underlining that about 100 services ensure chemotherapy treatment nationwide.
In this regard, he called, “to mobilize health professionals for a good aftercare and a coordination able to ensure monitoring this expensive treatment.”