World Cancer Day is marked worldwide each year on 4 February, and on this occassion HRH Crown Princess Katherine once again sends her message of support to all those who fight this disease, and reminds everybody of the essential importance of preventive examinations and following expert’s advice, because this grave disease can be avoided or cured if it is detected in time.

World Cancer Day is the global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). By raising worldwide awareness, improving education, and catalyzing personal, collective, and government action, its main motive is that everybody should be working together to achieve a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all. The theme of this year’s marking of the Day is “Close the Care Gap”, designated to celebrate the progress in its many forms, that enables more people to seek and receive the care they need and deserve.

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. Oncologists are emphasizing that early detection of cancer contributes to a good outcome of the disease, that is, the turning of this disease into a chronic one. They call for regular examinations, and if any new symptoms are noticed, to talk to the doctor.

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

This struggle is severely impacting, both mentally and physically, 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 going through this alone, reassure them that they have to whom to turn and that with our help and support, they can get through every day that comes.

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.

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, helping raise awareness of the importance of cancer prevention, treatment and support to cancer patients.

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 collaboration with leading cancer centers abroad are 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 160,000 women have been examined thanks to this $ 700,000 worth mobile unit.

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