Promoting Prevention and Control of Cancer


Since mid 2005 ICHD focused on one of the biggest killers in Armenia - Cancer. The non-communicable diseases (NCDs) increasingly create critical health and economic challenges for Armenian society and state. Cancer is one of the three biggest killers in Armenia, causing about 20% of deaths. The profile and trends of cancer are even more challenging: the mortality rate for cancer increased by over 70%, while the morbidity rate increased by 19% only in the past decade. Breast cancer and cervical cancers are among the biggest killers of women in Armenia. The dynamics of cancer is particularly troublesome among adolescents and children: the morbidity for cancers among Armenians under 14 years was 115.8 per 100,000 population of this age group.

This situation is most probably caused by the late diagnosis of the disease. The profile of the cancer and risk factors in Armenia implicitly indicates the lack of national capacities to prevent and control the cancers, as well as the lack of awareness among general public about one of the biggest killers and its risk factors. The social, economic and political transition in the past decades, the natural disasters and still unresolved armed conflicts in the region resulted in inadequate policy response to cancer, and lifestyle-related risks in Armenia. The cancer has not been adequately recognized as a major treat for the state and society. Subsequently, the prevention and control of the cancer have not been recognized as a national priority. The public health policies and primary healthcare system in Armenia do not address early diagnosis of the cancer properly.

The awareness and behavior among general public, as well as the overall environment are not favorable for reduction of the risk factors for cancer in the country. There is an obvious need to raise public awareness on cancer and lifestyle-related risk, as well as to promote supportive environment enabling effective prevention and control of cancer in Armenia.

ICHD focused on tackling the prevention of the cancer first. The Center targeted the dimension of public awareness as the key instrument to leverage the prevention of the cancer. Supported by the American Cancer Society in 2005-2006, ICHD has engaged the key agents of change - health professionals, specifically family doctors in raising public awareness on cancer and disseminating knowledge on cancer early prevention, screening and diagnosis, as well as on the risk factors. The family doctors work directly with the population and have the best opportunities for increasing the awareness among women and men on preventing cancer and reducing its risks.

In mid 2005, ICHD has prepared and published booklets and information leaflets on cancer prevention focusing on the risk factors and the means to reduce them: tobacco use and quitting, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diets and their consequences. Further, ICHD has developed modules for training family doctors and to transfer to them skills for raising awareness of citizens on preventing the cancer and tackling its risks. ICHD have trained 190 family doctors countrywide in mid 2006 (about 40% of all family doctors in Armenia in 2006).

In partnership with the UNFPA Country Office in Armenia, ICHD addressed the cancers that directly affect the reproductive health of men and women in Armenia. ICHD have prepared and published four booklets to expose the three types of cancer – prostate, breast and cervical cancers, their risk factors as well as to urge women and men to take preventive measures including regular screening in late 2006. Over 1000 booklets have been distributed to Armenian population in partnership with public health professionals and the network of family doctors engaged by ICHD earlier as intermediaries for raising public awareness. This strategic partnership has been important throughout the entire endeavor.



Call for Expert on Policy Communication and Instruments

This announcement is available only in Armenian. 


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Youth Expo Catalogue

The Publication is available only in Armenian.