The campaign Don't Be Late! for the early detection of breast cancer continues

The breast cancer campaign Don’t Be Late! continues in cooperation between the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the Estonian Cancer Society. The aim of the campaign is to raise people’s awareness of the fact that breast cancer detected in its early stages is curable and to invite women to actively participate in cancer screenings.

Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumour found in women. According to the cancer register data, almost 600 new breast cancer incidents are diagnosed in Estonia every year. During the last previous years, the number of new incidents has increased by about 10%.

The goal of the breast cancer screening is to detect breast cancer in as early stage as possible and thus decrease the mortality rate related to the disease.

Breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings are a part of the national cancer strategy in Estonia, funded from both the state budget and the health insurance budget.

62,923 women were invited to screenings in 2010, with 33,419 women attending. The coverage (measured by the percent of invited women who have had a mammogram in the previous three years) of breast screenings in Estonia was 66%. Overall, 142 cancer cases were discovered, with 72% incidents of cancer in the early stages.

52,000 Estonian women aged 50–62 will be invited to breast cancer screenings in 2011 in the cooperation between the National Institute for Health Development, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the Estonian Cancer Screening Foundation. Women with a valid health insurance born in the years 1950, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1961 will be sent a personal invitation.

The aim of the breast cancer screenings conducted in 2011 is to increase the participation rate of women invited to mammographic examinations to 70%. With well-organised screenings, it is possible to decrease the number of deaths caused by breast cancer by up to 30%. In addition, the treatment options of today are greatly improved.

More information:

Sirje Vaask
Phone +372 620 8455
sirje.vaask [at] haigekassa.ee