“50% of cancer patients in Malta are living an average of more than ten years” – President George Vella
The President of Malta George Vella said that today almost 50% of cancer patients in Malta receiving the necessary treatment are living for more than ten years and this means that a stronger investment is needed in financial and human resources because in certain cases there is a need for specialised and personalised care.
Addressing a conference organised by the National Cancer Platform on World Cancer Day, President Vella said that statistics show that every year there are around 2,500 new cases of cancer in Malta and around 1,000 of them die, meaning that today cancer is the primary cause of 30% of all deaths in our country.
“Early treatment, the way in which patients are being treated, and the use of new and increasingly sophisticated medicines, is leading to cancer patients living longer. In cancer prevention, protection, and treatment, there is a need for the cooperation of many disciplines taking care of educational and medical aspects, rehabilitation periods, psychosocial protection, and palliative care,” said President Vella while thanking several voluntary organisations that are contributing in different areas to complement or fill the gap in the service provided by health authorities.
“On World Cancer Day we should also salute the thousands of workers in different sectors of our national health institutions who provide a service with so much dedication and love,” said President George Vella.
The National Cancer Platform, under the patronage of the President of Malta, brings together eleven non-governmental organisations that work or are interested in certain aspects related to cancer patients in Malta – Action for Breast Cancer Foundation, Alive Charity Foundation, Aurora Support Services, Europa Donna Malta, Hospice Movement, Karl Vella Foundation, Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation, Malta Health Network, Malta Male Cancer Awareness, Malta Colorectal Cancer Awareness Group and Puttinu Cares.
The voluntary organisations aim to cooperate and coordinate their work, educate, and raise awareness about prevention from the factors and habits that can lead to cancer.
The new Chairperson of the National Cancer Platform, Dr Noel Buttigieg Scicluna, said that the organisations are sharing ideas, promoting research, studies, and publications, holding training sessions, and above all providing financial assistance for the purchase of medicines, and other services.
Consultant Dr Nathalie Galea, who specialises in cancer in children, said that this year the paediatric oncology service will be further strengthened as two more doctors will graduate, a dream of Dr Victor Calvagna who was a pioneer in this field.