Turkish Ministry of Health, 2<sup>nd</sup> Turkish Medical General Assembly Clinical Oncology Study Group Report.
Türk, HACI MEHMET
Kızıltan, HURİYE ŞENAY
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Objective: There is an increase in the incidence of cancer, and consequently in mortality rates, both in the world and in Turkey. The increase in the incidence and mortality rate of cancer are more prominent in our country as well as in other developing countries. The aim of this workshop was to determine the current status on prevention, screening, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer in our country, to identify related shortcomings, specify solutions and to share these with health system operators, and to aid in implementation of these systems. Developments on palliative care were also evaluated. Materials and methods: The current situation in the practice of clinical oncology, related drawbacks, problems encountered during multidisciplinary approach and their solutions were discussed under several sub-headings during a 3-day meeting organized by the Turkish Ministry of Health (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Sağlık Bakanlığı-TCSB) with participation of 16 scientists from Turkey and 6 from abroad, and the conclusions were reported. Results: It is expected that the newly established Turkish Health Institutes Association (Türkiye Sağlık Enstitüleri Başkanlığı-TÜSEB) and the National Cancer Institute (Ulusal Kanser Enstitüsü) will provide a new framework in the field of oncology. The current positive findings include the increase in the number of scientists who carry out successful trials in oncology both in Turkey and abroad, the implementation of the national cancer registry program by the Cancer Control Department and the breast cancer registry program by the Turkish Federation of Breast Diseases Societies (Türkiye Meme Hastalıkları Dernekleri Federasyonu-TMHDF), and introduction of Cancer Early Diagnosis, Screening, and Training Centers (Kanser Erken Tanı, Tarama ve Eğitim Merkezi-KETEM) for the application of community-based cancer screening programs. In addition to these, obvious shortcomings related to education, implementation, management and research issues were also determined, and policy and project proposals to address these issues were presented. Collaboration with relevant organizations in the implementation of these studies was supported. Conclusion: Both the incidence and mortality rates of cancer are increasing in Turkey. The widespread deficiencies in population-based screening and in effective treatment lead to an increase in delay in diagnosis and mortality. Despite improvements in data recording, screening and treatment over the last 10 years, extensive, organized, population-based screening programs and fully equipped early diagnosis and treatment centers are required. Enhancement of basic cancer epidemiologic, translational, genetic and molecular research studies is essential in our country. Improvements on pain treatment and palliative care of patients with chronic and terminal cancer are also required.