ecancermedicalscience

Review

Cancer trends and risk factors in Cyprus

24 Jan 2014
Paraskevi A Farazi

Cyprus, a European Union member state, is a small island in the Mediterranean with a population approaching 900,000 people. Cancer is the second leading cause of death; more therapeutic options for any patient with the disease are available in a central oncology centre in the capital of the island (Nicosia) and fewer therapeutic options (e.g. chemotherapy and hormone therapy only) in a few other public hospitals. Palliative care is offered in several hospices and hospitals, although the field needs improvement. With regards to screening, a national breast cancer screening programme has been in place countrywide since 2007 and is offered free of charge to women between the ages of 50 and 69 years, while colorectal and prostate cancer screening is performed on an individual basis (a pilot programme for colorectal cancer screening was recently initiated). Genetic testing is available for breast and colon cancer. To improve understanding of the causes of cancer in the country, a cancer research centre was established in 2010 (Mediterranean Centre for Cancer Research). Recent epidemiologic work has revealed increasing cancer trends in Cyprus; prostate cancer is the most common in men and breast cancer is the most common in women. Interestingly, thyroid cancer incidence in women has been rising from 1998 to 2008. Cancer of the colon and rectum is also on the rise affecting both sexes. Overall, cancer incidence in Cyprus is lower than other EuroMed countries with similar lifestyle and geography.

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