The data obtained as a result of the Cancer Registry Project carried out jointly between Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Dr. Fazıl Küçük Medicine Faculty and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ministry of Health, covering the years 2017-2018 has been presented to public at a press conference held at the TRNC Ministry of Health on Friday, 5 November 2021 at 09:30.
TRNC Minister of Health Dt. Ünal Üstel, EMU Rector Prof. Dr. Aykut Hocanın, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Düriye Deren Oygar, EMU Faculty of Medicine Dean Prof. Dr. Nahide Gokcora, Dr. Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital Pathology Specialist Minel Özel, EMU Faculty of Medicine academic staff member Assist. Prof. Dr. Nimet İlke Akçay, President of the Association for Helping Cancer Patients Raziye Kocaismail and President of Kemal Saraçoğlu Foundation for Children with Leukemia and Fight Against Cancer Hüseyin Şenol Ruso were present at the meeting.
Delivering the opening address of the meeting, Prof. Dr. Nahide Gökçora stated that the first cancer registration activities in the TRNC started in 2003 and stated that the first cooperation protocol was signed between EMU and the Ministry of Health in 2015. Giving information about cancer registry, Prof. Dr. Gökçora emphasized that cancer registry is the entire process of collecting information about all cancer cases that occur in a certain population and fully documenting this information together with the clinical and pathological indicators of cancer.
1697 New Cancer Diagnoses Between 2017-2018
Prof. Dr. Gökçora made the following statements: “Between 2017-2018, 1697 new cancer cases were diagnosed. Of these, 891 are men and 806 are women. Excluding malignant non-melanoma skin cancers, the total number of cases was 1415. Of these, 710 are men and 705 are women. Considering the distribution of gender-based cancer cases in 2017-2018; Prostate, Lung, Colorectal cancers, Bladder and Lymphoma are the most common cancer types in men. The top five most common cancer types in women were; Breast, Thyroid, Colorectal cancers, Uterine cancers and Lung cancers, respectively. It has been determined that cancer diagnoses in both genders are mostly in the 50-69 age range. In the pediatric age group (0-16 years), malignancy distribution consists of Leukemia and Lymphomas in the first 2 ranks, in line with the regional and world incidences. In the 3rd rank is the Central Nervous System malignancies. When compared with neighboring countries, it has been seen that the cancer incidences diagnosed in Northern Cyprus in 2017 and 2018 were similar to the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean regions, which are in the same socio-cultural and socio-economic conditions.
In her speech, Dr. Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital Pathology Specialist Dr. Minel Özel stated that their aim is to establish a national cancer control platform with the results to be obtained and to determine the methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Giving information about the path followed in obtaining the results and research methods, Dr. Özel stated that their next goal is to be accepted to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and to ensure that our country's cancer outcomes are included in the international pool.
“We will See Good Days"
Raziye Kocaismail, the President of the Association for Helping Cancer Patients, stated that they have reached these days with a lot of struggle and underlined that the establishment of a Cancer Department within the Ministry of Health would make them happy. Kocaismail said, “We are in a war. The way to be successful in this war is to establish the Cancer Department.” Expressing her gratitude to those who contributed to the project, Kocaismail added that she believes there will be good days. Hüseyin Şenol Ruso, President of the Kemal Saraçoğlu Foundation for Children with Leukemia and Fight Against Cancer, gave information about the foundation and talked about the activities carried out in the foundation. Emphasizing the importance of the Cancer Registry Project, Ruso thanked those who contributed to the project.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Düriye Deren Oygar thanked everyone for their efforts and work towards the important disease of cancer and underlined that they are ready to provide all kinds of support as the Ministry of Health in order to achieve world standards. Oygar expressed her hope that the project would set an example for everyone and emphasized that their cooperation would continue.
Collaborations will Continue in an Increased Manner
EMU Rector Prof. Dr. Hocanın emphasized that EMU, as a state university, attaches importance to research and service to the community in addition to providing quality education. Stating that there are cooperation protocols with the Ministry of Health, Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Hocanın stated that the Ministry of Health supported EMU at every step during the Covid-19 pandemic process. Hoping that the cooperation with the Ministry of Health will continue to increase, Prof. Dr. Hocanın underlined that the university is always ready to contribute to the state with its scientific structure. In his speech, Prof. Dr. Hocanın also conveyed his gratitude to those who contributed to the project.
Work on the Establishment of a Cancer Department Continues
Stating that recording cancer-related data is important and beneficial both in the fight against cancer and in comparison with the world's countries, Minister of Health Dt. Üstel stated that the Ministry of Health will continue to cooperate with universities and associations. Stating that public health comes first, Dt. Üstel noted that the contributions of universities and related associations are of great importance. At the end of his speech, Dt. Üstel thanked everyone who contributed to the Cancer Registry and Cancer Screening Project in the TRNC.
Stating that they are working on the establishment of a Cancer Department in 2022, that the data will be recorded in a healthy way and will be included in the pool where the world's data is preserved, Minister Dt. Üstel also mentioned the lack of medicine in the country. In order to eliminate the problem of the shortage of medicines, Dt. Üstel, explained that some projects at Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital have been cancelled and some missing medicines have been brought to the country with the contribution of the Turkish Embassy