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Hereditary cancer knowledge exchange, awareness raising and management in the border regions of Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania (HCKEARM BYLV)

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Latvia (LV)and Belarus (BY). For instance, in Grodno region, BY alone 2700 new cancer cases are discovered annually, in LV every year 10000 new cancer patients are discovered, out of which only 40% are diagnnosed in the I or II stage of the cancer, meanwhile the rest (60%) are in the critcal III and IV stages of the disease according to Latvian Cancer patient registry (LCPR). Currently there are at least 53000 cancer patients in LV. Ultimately, every year in LV cancer takes at least 5000 human lives according to LCPR. Hereditary cancer (HC) is 10-20% of all cancers. The lifetime risk of developing cancer disease for carriers of cancer predisposing mutations is up to 80%. It is 10-20 times higher than the rest of the population. Unlike other forms of cancer, HC is the type of cancer that can and should be prevented. The HC cases remain high not because of lack of scientific knowledge on the subject, but rather limited knowledge and experience exchange within the greater community of cancer specialists in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) including BY. Furthermore since traditional methods aggainst HC have been used near their full potential, new and alternative methods, mainly preventative in nature have been introduced and are currently practiced to a high level in Latvia (LV), meanwhile still lacking in Belarus (BY). Through this project, the medics from LV, Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital (PSCUH), first of all, intendend to transfer a broad spectrum of knowledge on HC to collegagues in BY, Grodno Regional Clinical Hospital (GRCH). By doing so, the best available knowledge and HC management practices will become available to the colleagues in BY, and will be put to use during and long after this project to ensure the most up-to-date HC management in the BSR including BY. The overall objective of this project is to improve life quality in BY and LV by developing effective population based hereditary cancer screening and management system model and combating hereditary cancer in border regions. Objective will be achieved as a result of the cross-border cooperation, information and experience exchange between PSCUH and GR?H about HC in general, its preventitive measures and management. The raised awareness on HC as managable and curable disease among wider society of medics and general population of the EU and Belarus border regions. Identification of high HC risk individuals through HC patient hospital, registry as well as population screening pilot projects (PP) and molecular investigations in Belarus. Layed grounds for development of HC prevention and management base in Belarus, by establishing Grodno hereditary cancer centre (GHCC) within GRCH and begining of HC consultation and management activities in this newly established facility.
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