Serbian childhood cancer network hosted the 2016 conference “European standards of care for children with cancer” organised by European association of parents of children suffering from cancer. The data cited during the conference revealed mortality rate of children with cancer to be nearly 20 percent higher in Serbia compared to Europe.
The EU Delegation to Serbia helped to organise the conference participated in by representatives of paediatric haematology and oncology from Serbia as well as representatives of European society of paediatric oncology and 112 parents. Topic of the conference is “European standards of care and treatment”.
In his opening remarks, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport noted that worldwide, every three minutes a child dies from cancer. He also said that cancer in 70 percent of children and adolescents was curable, whereas cure rates of certain types of childhood cancer were as high as 100 percent.
Davenport stressed that childhood cancer treatment standards varied across Europe and described parents’ role in cancer recovery process as particularly important.
He said it was important to introduce European standards in treatment of childhood cancer and stressed that the EU stood ready to support Serbian association dealing with this issue.
“Concrete results could be brought only through team work which entails engagement of medical staff, psychiatric service, parents of children with cancer…” Davenport said, adding that parents should be prepared to help medical staff in doing their job.
Representative of National association of parents of children with cancer Irina Ban from the association “Zvoncica” thanked Davenport for support in organising the conference, and reminded about his visit to Parents’ Home where children with cancer and their parents are placed during treatment. “Children were playing doctors, they made a thorough check up of Mr Davenport’s physical condition and concluded he was in good health,” said Ban.
Ban also said that “it is indeed possible and necessary to increase rates of cancer survival… In Europe, survival rates among children suffering from curable cancers go up to 80 percent, whereas in Serbia, the same rates are lower by nearly 20 percent,” she said.
Serbian childhood cancer network is comprised of several associations which organised the international conference on this issue in order to draw attention of European and Serbian public to the issues of treating cancer in children in Serbia.
According to data, mortality rate among children with cancer in Serbia is nearly 20 percent higher compared to Europe. Also, “children in Serbia are not part of clinical researches and have no access to most recent medication.”
Serbian childhood cancer network strives to implement the document “European standards in treating children and young people with cancer” which envisages the creation of National strategy for childhood cancer and National register containing data on these diseases.
Luisa Basset of Spanish Federation of parents of children with cancer said the gathering was an opportunity to exchange experience. “First, we should do the necessary and then the possible. Only then will we be able to do what seemed impossible in the beginning,” Basset said.
Three-day conference is participated in by representatives from France, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Russia, Romania, Norway, Montenegro, Poland and Slovakia.