The pandemic that has befallen us has greatly affected the entire health system, especially those who are struggling with the most serious diseases – so today, on the World Cancer Day, we must remember to support those who fight cancer. This day, 4 February, should also remind us that, despite everything, we should take regular preventive examinations, which are of great importance, because such grave diseases can be avoided or cured only if they are detected in time.

HRH Crown Princess Katherine and her Foundation in Serbia, in cooperation with the offices of the Lifeline Humanitarian Organization in Chicago, New York, Toronto, London, and Athens, whose patron is Her Royal Highness, have been helping Serbian hospitals for years by providing medical equipment to treat the disease and raise awareness of the importance of cancer prevention, treatment and supporting cancer patients.

As health experts point out, activities in preventing the occurrence of cancer are diverse and represent a key approach in the process of controlling them. Estimates suggest that as many as 40% of malignancies can be avoided through lifestyle interventions: quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding excessive sun exposure, maintaining an optimal weight by eating healthy foods, exercising, and protecting against infections that can lead to the development of cancer. If the disease does occur, its outcome can be improved by early detection, adequate treatment, and rehabilitation with appropriate palliative care. According to experts in the field of oncology, early detection of cancer contributes to a good outcome of the disease, that is, the translation of this disease into a chronic one. They call for a systematic examination of all systems once a year, and if any new symptoms are noticed, it is recommended to report to the appropriate control examination.

“As hard as the fight against this vicious disease is, you can emerge victoriously. Only those who have encountered cancer know how difficult it is to endure the battle to the end – how many sacrifices, tears, and courage are needed… but they also know that only with the support of their loved ones and with adequate medical help, they can overcome this evil.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lot of impact, both mentally and physically, on the people struggling with cancer, but they are aware that they must continue their fight – so let’s help them, support them, let them know that they are not alone in all this, reassure them that they have to whom to turn and that with our help and support they can get through every day that comes to them.

Everyone who is fighting cancer must continue to go to regular therapies and examinations so that they can overcome this disease with adequate therapy. On this day, I would like to express my sincere admiration and gratitude to all medical workers in Serbia for their extraordinary work and contribution to the prevention and treatment of this vicious disease. I hope that in the future we will all continue to work together to improve the health and treatment conditions of our citizens.

I also appeal to everyone to follow the doctor’s advice, take preventive examinations and give up bad life habits that endanger their health. Only in this way can we preserve our health, and therefore our lives. Life is the greatest gift and we must cherish it, both for ourselves and for those who love us”, said HRH Crown Princess Katherine.

In addition to the Crown Princess Katherine Foundation helping Clinical Centers throughout Serbia, it also organizes the annual Serbian Diaspora Medical Conference, which pays great attention to topics in oncology, promoting the idea that continuous education and improvement of acquired knowledge is crucial for our doctors. With the same goal of improving knowledge, five Oncology Symposiums were organized by the Foundation.

The first palliative care center in Serbia was opened by HRH Crown Princess Katherine in 2013 at the Clinical Center Nis, with the help of a generous donation provided by Dr. Elaine Laycock. Also, one of the most significant donations has been the mobile mammograph, which was donated to the Clinical Center Nis in 2009, thanks to the generosity of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Since its arrival in Serbia, more than 150,000 women have been examined thanks to this $ 700,000 worth mobile unit.

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