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Health Ministry, Roche Vietnam sign liver cancer deal

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Medical Service Administration, under the Ministry of Health, and biotechnology firm Roche Vietnam on May 10 signed an MoU to conduct a joint liver cancer management program in the 2022-2023 period. The program is aimed at increasing awareness and building capacity in the diagnosis, treatment, prediction and management of liver cancer.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nguyen Truong Son, Deputy Minister of Health, said, “Cancers, especially liver cancer, are a leading threat to human health and life. The Live Longer cancer management program will be an important part of the ministry’s strategy for managing liver diseases and the National Plan for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health Disorders for the next five years.”

Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Medical Service Administration, said, “To prevent and treat liver cancer effectively and sustainably, we need cross-stakeholder cooperation, especially involving the private sector and healthcare partners. The partnership signed today will make a positive contribution to raising disease awareness for early prevention as well as improving the capacity of liver cancer treatment.”

Lennor Carrillo, general director at Roche Vietnam, said, “As a leading pharmaceutical group, Roche is committed to helping patients access advanced therapies in Vietnam. Once officially put into operation, we believe that the project will create a solid foundation for improving the quality of life and survival time for liver cancer patients in Vietnam.”

Liver cancer is the most prominent type of cancer in Vietnam. According to a Globocan report (2020), there were around 26,500 incidences of liver cancer a year in previous years, accounting for 14.5% of all cancers. Liver cancer also leads in mortality rates with over 25,270 cases, accounting for 21% of the total number of cancer deaths, 3.8 times higher than the 6,700 lives claimed by traffic accidents in 2020.

The earliest clinical symptoms of liver cancer are often atypical and easily missed. The progression of the disease can take up to 30 years. Therefore, liver cancer is difficult to detect early, as people lack regular screening habits due to low awareness.

Therefore, raising public awareness for early screening and improving medical capacity as well as patient access to the most appropriate and advanced therapies at each stage are effective solutions in the prevention and treatment of liver cancer.

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