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    Russian expert calls for better funding of cancer treatment

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    MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - A more adequate approach is needed to finance programs to treat children diagnosed with cancer, a senior Russian medical expert said Thursday.

    According to the Russian Center for Cancer Studies (RCCS), the number of children annually diagnosed with cancer has increased to 4,450 in Russia over the last decade. As of late 2006, there were 11,418 young cancer patients in the country.

    "Although treatment is very effective nowadays, over one thousand children die of cancer every year, and inadequate financing is the key problem," said Mikhail Davydov, RCCS director and president of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.

    He said up-to-date equipment, technologies, diagnostic methods and adequate funding play a pivotal role in cancer treatment.

    He said children accounted for 4% of cancer patients, and that juvenile deaths from malignant tumors were second only to trauma deaths.

    Davydov said the rates of young cancer patients were approximately the same throughout Russia, at 12-15 per 100,000. But he said some regions lacked services that could diagnose children with cancer, and consequently no cancer statistics were available.

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