About 310 new lung cancer cases are reported each year, and 80 to 90 per cent of patients are smokers, Health Minister Giorgos Pamborides said on Wednesday.
At a press conference announcing the campaign White Ribbons for Lung Cancer which has been organised for the first time in Cyprus the minister noted lung cancer is the leading cancer in the EU with 267,700 people dying from it every year in Europe.
“And despite the scientific knowledge that smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, one in four adults in Europe still smoke. And precisely because of the increase in smoking among women, the incidence of lung cancer in this sex is on the rise,” he added.
Other risk factors are environmental pollution, occupational exposure to carcinogens and genetic factors.
For all the advances in treatment, the five-year-survival rate remains low in Europe, where 70 per cent of lung cancers are diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease, and where treatment is not possible in 90 per cent of cases.
“So we are joining forces to ensure that every person can breathe, following the slogan of the campaign ‘Just breathe!’ Pamborides concluded.
The White Ribbon campaign for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer kicks off in Cyprus with a charity fashion show at the state fair on March 22.
Different coloured ribbons are used to represent various illnesses. Pink ribbons usually stand for breast cancer, grey ones for brain cancer and blue-coloured ones for bladder cancer.
Lung cancer was initially represented by a clear ribbon referring to air. Because a clear ribbon is not easily visible this was changed to white.