Welcome to IGET – Our New Croatian Member
It is with great pleasure and pride that we welcome two new Members into the Digestive Cancers Europe fold. They are:
IGET – Institute for Gastroenterological Tumors of Croatia and
A.R.CA.D – Aide et Recherche en Cancérologie Digestive – Analysis and Research in CAncers of the Digestive system of France
We have asked both organisations to introduce themselves. You can discover IGET below. Please see this dedicated introductory article on A.R.CA.D from our new French Member. We offer both of them a hearty welcome and very much look forward to working with them in moving ahead for digestive cancer patients in their countries and across Europe!
The Institute for Gastroenterological Tumors (IGET) was founded at the end of 2020 as a patients and professionals non-profit organisation in Croatia for providing and disseminating information about the prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and research on gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and offering support and education for GI cancer patients, families and professionals.
“The incidence and mortality of GI tumors in Croatia is one of the highest in the EU, while response rates to existing screening programmes are rather low, and we register a significant proportion of advanced stages at diagnosis,” explains Iva Kirac, IGET Director. “Based on analysis of media presence and questionnaires on why patients delay their first visit, we concluded that there is not enough coverage of the issue in the media and that patient pathways through the system are unclear for patients themselves. End of 2020, we decided to gather a few motivated patients and professionals and to start our activities by opening discussions on colorectal cancer.”
IGET is pleased to have become a new Member under the DICE umbrella as they:
- Are looking forward to the opening up of possibilities for interaction and participation in areas such as rare diseases and gastric cancer – focal points that are more difficult given their countries relatively small population
- Can take the opportunity to rethink their strategy in the larger European context
- Are happy to be able to leverage readily available DiCE communication materials and translate for their use
The organisation’s main goals are to raise awareness of symptoms, the importance of screening, hereditary cancer, accessibility of diagnostics, treatment and support options in GI cancers and present a concept of chronicity of cancer if dealt with in the right way with the right timing.
Activities so far have included the organisation of two round tables. One with stakeholders on why colorectal cancers are not being diagnosed early enough and the second on prehabilitation in GI cancers. Both round tables have resulted in their focal points moving into 2022.
IGET has also been working on introducing colorectal cancer to mainstream television, print and online media and will continue to bring the subject to the general public through these means. Together with psychologists, patient support specialists and researchers, they are also working on developing projects that aim to fill the existing support care gap in the current system with the long-term goal being the implementation of these currently missing interventions as standard practice.
“We are happy to have more patients willing to donate their time and energy to pinpoint their problems and share their stories. We hope that together we will be able to address them and find solutions locally,” adds Iva. “We plan to procure funding for the pilot projects and research in areas of interest for patients through donations and are very grateful to those who recognize our efforts.”
For more information on IGET please contact us.