Delegates sign an MoU on implementation of a project on improving access to therapies for high-risk breast cancer patients in Vietnam during 2020–25. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) –  The Ministry of Health and Vietnam Medical Association will work together on improving access to innovative therapies for high-risk breast cancer patients in Vietnam during 2020-25 as part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed on January 19.

The project aims to increase the rate of early breast cancer detection among women and improve access to advanced therapies for high-risk breast cancer patients.

Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said that five to 10 years ago, over 70 percent of breast cancer patients visited hospitals and got treated at a late stage. In recent years, thanks to the communication campaigns, especially the national project on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases including cancer, the rate of cancer patients getting medical examination and treatment in the early stages has increased.

“The implementation of the project on improving access to innovative therapies for high-risk breast cancer patients in the 2020-25 period” will contribute to the overall goal of the National Strategy on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, including cancer. As this project is implemented nationwide with cooperation between all levels of health departments and agencies, it is expected to bring positive and sustainable changes, leading to the improvement of Vietnam’s capability to respond to cancer,” said Huan.

“This is the first project in Vietnam dedicated to breast cancer with unprecedented scale and number of partners, all in hope of helping cancer patients. The more healthcare professionals receive training to improve their capabilities of treating cancer, the more the workload will be reduced for each doctor and improve the quality of treatment for patients,” President of Vietnam Medical Association Nguyen Thi Xuyen said.

To achieve this goal, the Ministry of Health and Vietnam Medical Association will cooperate on increasing early detection of breast cancer through raising public awareness, screening for breast cancer, developing policy and professional guidance on breast cancer screening. The two sides will also strengthen capabilities of medical systems for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, develop a real-world data system on breast cancer and optimise current data and conduct general research on cost-effectiveness policy on breast cancer screening status, survey drug use in treatment of high risk breast cancer patients.

“Roche is committed to working with Vietnam to address healthcare challenges through a variety of activities. RocheVietnam is honoured to accompany the Vietnam Medical Association and Ministry of Health in a very meaningful project, bringing new hope to breast cancer patients in Vietnam,” said Girish Mulye, Chief Representative of Roche Vietnam.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in both developed and developing countries. Breast cancer incidence is on the rise in developing countries due to longer life expectancy, rapid urbanisation and changes in lifestyle.

According to the Global Cancer Observatory (Globocan2020), in Vietnam, breast cancer ranks first among all types of women’s cancer, the number of new cases is 21,555 people, accounting for 25.8 percent of cancer incidents in both genders, taking third place (after liver and lung cancer). The average age of breast cancer incidence in women is 34.2 per 100,000 people. In both genders, breast cancer mortality rate ranks fourth (with 9,345 cases) after liver cancer, lung cancer and stomach cancer. The age-standardised mortality rate of breast cancer is 13.8 per 100,000 people./.

VNA