The symposium of the Slovenian Association of Gastroenterology and Hepatology with the presentation of the most advanced FUJIFILM technology for the detection of colon and rectal cancer attracted a lot of interest from experts and the general public.
At 6 p.m., there was a round table on improving the chances of early detection of gastrointestinal cancer, with the participation of the State Secretary at the Ministry of Health Sandra Tušar, the medical director of UKC Ljubljana, among others Marija Pfeifer and director of UKC Maribor Janez Lavre. Brdo Congress Center, glass hall,was fully occupied.
With new technology to more effective detection of gastrointestinal cancer
Brdo pri Kranju, January 18 – New endoscopic devices enable more effective detection of cancerous changes and
treating patients without surgery. Such devices would be a great asset for Slovenian healthcare, they believe
gastroenterologists who gathered at today’s symposium in Brdo pri Kranje. The Svit (SVIT is slovenian colorectal screening program) program also proves how effective prevention is.
“In Slovenia, endoscopy is at a high level, but companies that develop endoscopy equipment offer us better devices year after year, which help us detect changes at an earlier stage and help heal patients with endoscopic operations without surgical intervention. This is for patients very important,” explained prof. Bojan Tepeš, president of the Slovenian Association for Gastroenterology and Hepatology (SZGH), which organized today’s symposium.
Currently, only one institution in Slovenia has the equipment with the most advanced technology, which was presented at the symposium. “We would like to see more hospitals and diagnostic centers like this in the future, as it is a new, higher step in the development of endoscopy,” Tepeš emphasized, explaining that with these devices they can see more and better and find even the smallest initial cancerous changes in the digestive tract, which can then also be removed endoscopically.
“From the point of view of the patient and also from the point of view of our health insurance, this is the direction in which we should go,” Tepeš said, adding that this is also proven by an effective program for the early detection of precancerous changes and colon and rectal cancer. With the Svit program, which was started in 2009, there was a decline in the number of new cancer cases and mortality. Colorectal cancer is still one of the most common forms of cancer. More than 1,600 people fall ill with it in Slovenia every year, and almost every other person dies from it, while in the initial stage this form of cancer is completely curable. With the new technology, the figures could be significantly improved, gastroenterologists are convinced.
During endoscopy of the digestive tract, a significant proportion of pre-cancerous and cancerous changes can be overlooked, which is why a precise examination is very important. In addition to experience and knowledge, the endoscopist must have enough time and appropriate equipment, pointed out the president of the endoscopy section of the SZGH, Milan Stefanović.
High-quality endoscopy means the use of endoscopes of the latest generation, which enable high resolution and
magnification. With them, endoscopists not only identify changes more easily, but also define their nature with high precision. Compared to surgical therapy, endoscopic therapy means greater safety, shorter hospitalization and also cost efficiency.
That’s why investing in quality equipment also makes sense from the point of view of the health fund, just like the Svit program and other preventive programs, Prof. Tepeš believes.
Slovenian gastroenterologists have also adopted expert recommendations for the prevention and early detection of stomach cancer, which is not so common, but currently has a mortality rate of 72%. “We will submit these recommendations again to the Ministry of Health and we hope to find understanding,” said Tepeš.
Ambassador of the Svit program and former president Danilo Türk is also convinced that the cancer problem deserves a lot of attention. As he emphasised, one of the human rights is the right to the highest standard of health. However, this cannot be achieved only through the health system, it also requires awareness so that every citizen feels that health care is their own responsibility.