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Russia May Become Leader in Cancer Treatment in 10-15 Years

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Eurasian Cancer Foundation (AECF) chief Subramanian Somasundaram said that Russia can leave behind the West in 10-15 years and become a model for the rest of the world in cancer treatment.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia has the potential to become one of the global leaders in cancer treatment in 10-15 years, Eurasian Cancer Foundation (AECF) chief Subramanian Somasundaram said Wednesday.

"We can improve survival rates… We can leave behind the West in 10-15 years and become a model for the rest of the world. These are not just words and we are not afraid of work," Somasundaram said at a press conference at the Rossiya Segodnya International Press Center in Moscow.

But Subramanian Somasundaram said that Russia is experiencing multiple problems in the detection and treatment of cancer nowadays.

"Late disease detection, a low level of information provision, a lack of research projects initiated by researchers themselves… Data shows how much Russia and the CIS lag behind the West [in diagnosing cancer]," Somasundaram said.

A researcher works near a blood test machine - Sputnik International
Eurasian Federation of Oncology to Set Anti-Cancer Foundation in Russia
Doctors' and oncologists' salaries in Russia remain low, he added.

The prevalence of low qualified doctors is one of the main obstacles to efficient cancer treatment in Russia, according to Somasundaram.

"If we teach doctors specializing in non-oncology fields the basic elements of diagnosing cancer, we will increase detection rates," he said.

The EACF was established earlier on Wednesday by the Eurasian Federation of Oncology (EAFO). The EACF aims to promote early cancer detection, the adoption of complex approaches to cancer treatment and the implementation of advanced practices in the spheres of cancer prevention, detection and treatment.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2014 at least 16 percent of the some 2.1 million total deaths in Russia were estimated to be caused by cancer.

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