The Vietnam National Cancer Institute’s efforts in improving cancer care in Vietnam

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Published: 5 Sep 2023
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Dr Thanh Huong Tran Thi - Director, Vietnam National Cancer Institute

Dr Thanh Huong Tran Thi emphasises the National Institute for Cancer Control's commitment to discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat, and care for cancer patients. She also shares insights gained from other countries, including cost-effective methods for breast cancer control.

Dr Huong concludes by highlighting the Bright Future Foundation's efforts to support cancer patients' care and increase community awareness of cancer control.

The fact is Vietnam have many achievements in cancer control and in cancer care, from the prevention to diagnosis and treatment and the cancer network. But the survivorship in Vietnam is a limitation. We have activity for the support for cancer patient clubs but we don’t have any programmes or even the training in university and also the training on survivorship for cancer patients.

What can be done to improve cancer care in Vietnam?

We also have a plan to improve the survivorship component in the national cancer control programme. This symposium is a very good opportunity and a good forum for us to learn from the other countries from Asia and to know about how they implement the survivorship for cancer patients, the challenges and also the benefits. It’s a support for us to pursue that, the government, pursue  it in hospitals in running survivorship for cancer patients in Vietnam.

What lessons can be learnt from other countries?

Today the symposium focussed on the cost-effectiveness of breast cancer control and the subsequent cancer control. Now the WHO have a very specific focus for breast cancer control and cervical cancer elimination globally and also in the Asia-Pacific region.

We learned the lesson from the other countries like Malaysia, India and also Korea how to run cancer control, especially for cancer of women.

Can you tell us about the Bright Future Foundation?

Our Bright Future Foundation was established in 2011 and the founder is a former director of the National Cancer Hospital. At that time they could see so many cancer patients in Vietnam who are poor, they are affected not only physically but also economically and also psychological issues. They also learned models from the other countries, they have a very good foundation to support cancer patients. This is the reason they established the Bright Future Foundation of which the aim is a bridge to connect between cancer patients with society, with the induvial research organisations so we can support as much as possible the cancer patients in Vietnam. 

We do many activities, many programmes running now, to support funding for the poor cancer patients. We also do many programmes to improve awareness of people on cancer in Vietnam. We also do screening, especially for breast cancer, including now a scheme for 100,000 women in Vietnam. 

We also run many programmes to support the medicine for the cancer patients in Vietnam because in Vietnam now the health insurance does not cover for cancer screening and some new medicines the health insurance does not cover. So that is quite difficult for the cancer patients to access the new medicines and new technologies in Vietnam.