The new long-awaited specialised breast cancer centre will be opened on November 1, Europa Donna announced on Sunday during the annual pink silhouette march, which was attended by thousands of people in the capital.
In addition to the thousands of men, women and whole families who took part, the march was attended by Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis and Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis.
The march began from the parking area at the end of Makarios Avenue and ended at the HQ of Piraeus Bank which was one of the sponsors.
This year, 604 pink and two blue silhouettes were placed, to represent new breast cancer cases diagnosed last year and 71 white ones for the women who lost the battle with the disease. There were two blue silhouettes for two new cases diagnosed in men last year.
Europa Donna had launched a campaign in 2009 which lasted several years, urging the health ministry to take the necessary steps for the creation of a specialised breast centre in Cyprus, according to the European Parliament resolution on breast cancer. The resolution calls on member states to ensure nationwide provision of interdisciplinary breast cancer centres in accordance with EU guidelines by 2016. The online petition was signed by more than 21,000 people.
Cyprus is very close to reaching the 80 per cent survival rate for breast cancer, which is close to the percentage in other developed countries, thanks to enlightenment, awareness, early diagnosis, improved drugs, new treatments and expertise in the fight area breast cancer, Europa Donna says.
The creation of the new centre, which will offer specialised treatment to women and men with breast cancer, would translate according to statistics, to 30 per cent fewer deaths.
Breast cancer is the most common among women and the main cause of death, the head of Europa Donna Evi Papadopoulou said. “The last years however, due to information and timely diagnosis, better medication, and specialisation, survival rates reach 80 per cent. Cyprus is close to these rates,” she said.
This was the eighth consecutive silhouette march.