Screening programs

What is “cancer screening”?
Screening for any cancer envisages specific examination of people who don’t have any symptoms (asymptomatic), but belong to an age-specific cancer risk group. The purpose of any cancer screening is to detect the disease at an early stage, thereby reducing the mortality rate associated with that specific cancer, as well as to assess the risk of developing this specific cancer in case no symptoms are manifested. Screening can contribute to early detection of cancer, resulting in a higher chance of curability. Efficiently organized screening programs require availability of sufficient resources for screening, as well as appropriate diagnostic work-up for abnormal lesions followed by a timely, accessible, and effective treatment and management of the diagnosed disease.
The internationally accepted methods of cancer screening programs are population-based/organized (defined target population) and opportunistic (when/where appropriate).

Population-based screening programs
Organized programs are characterized by centralized screening invitations to a well-defined target population, systematic call and recall for screening, delivery of test results, investigations, treatment and follow-up care, centralized quality assurance, and a program database with linkages to other information systems, such as cancer registration systems and death registration systems, for monitoring and evaluation of the program. The screening policy of an organized program defines at least the screening protocol, the repeat interval, and the determinants of eligibility for screening. Effective communications should also be supported enabling the target population to make an informed decision about whether to participate. In addition, organized programs include an administrative structure, which is responsible for service delivery, including follow-up of detected lesions, quality assurance, and evaluation.

Opportunistic screening programs
Opportunistic programs are not tailored to a predetermined eligible population and provide screening tests on request or at the time of routine health examinations. These programs are less amenable to quality assurance than population-based screening, due, among other things, to the lack of administrative and organization infrastructure. They rely on the initiative of individual healthcare providers to offer screening or to encourage participation in a screening program or outside the context of any program (so-called “wild” screening).

Current cancer screening programs in Armenia
Cervical cancer screening program

Breast cancer screening program 2.5MB (pdf)

Breast cancer screening pilot project

In November 2019, through a competitive process, HENARAN foundation signed its 1st state-funded contract to develop the practical guidelines and operating procedures for the primary healthcare professionals (family doctors and general practitioners) for the purpose of early detection of breast cancer and organization of breast cancer screening pilot project in Lori, Tavush, and Syunik provinces of Armenia.
Breast cancer screening protocol 4.3MB (pdf)
Breast self-exam flyer 2.6MB (pdf)

Cancer control in Armenia

By the Order No.1984-A of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Armenia dated July 22, 2019 a national Board was established to coordinate the improvement and efficiency management of cancer care in Armenia.
The Order also approves the structure and operations of the national Board. Among 18 members of the Board, HENARAN charitable foundation, as a cancer patient advocacy organization in Armenia, is the only non-governmental organization to represent the voice and interests of cancer patients.
Since its inception in July 2019 the Board worked to draft the working document for the “Strategy for combatting malignant neoplasms 2019-2023” and its justification.

Against cancer

It is difficult to reconcile oneself to the diagnosis of cancer and this becomes a serious problem for many patients and their families.

HENARAN Foundation can help you better understand the cancer-related issues, treatment options and support activities, as well as set up through a “support group” useful communication with other patients, including cancer survivors. HENARAN Foundation will help you understand how to navigate through healthcare system, give a briefing on your patient rights, as well as provide contact information of consultants, home care service providers, education and information centers.

No person and family should be left alone in the fight against cancer. There are several non-governmental resources available in Armenia that could assist you and your family in different ways.

8 Vardanants blind alley, 7th floor, Room #705, Yerevan-0010, Armenia

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