The opportunity for parenthood for those with malignant diseases – Reproductive material freezing at the expense of RHIF
The most common malignancy in women of reproductive age is breast cancer, and an increasing number of young women between the ages of 20 and 30 are facing malignant diseases. For years, Avon has been emphasizing the importance of regular self-examinations, and therefore, on the occasion of National Breast Cancer Awareness Day, it once again draws attention to this serious issue that concerns all women.
On the occasion of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Avon in cooperation with the B92 Fund and with the support of the Ministry of Health and the Institute of Public Health organized a panel discussion on “Supporting cancer patients on the path to parenthood.”
Preserving fertility and family planning after treatment for malignant diseases is possible and represents a realistic goal for young women diagnosed with breast cancer in its early stages. Therefore, the National Health Insurance Fund adopted a regulation allowing individuals with malignant diseases to freeze eggs, sperm, and embryos prior to starting treatment at the expense of the National Health Insurance Fund, which will begin to be implemented once the Ministry of Health gives approval to the regulation.
“We started working on this proposal during the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately, the pandemic slowed down the process. It’s important to note that this is not just an initiative for preserving genetic material. We have completed the cycle and enabled patients who go through this process to also enter the process of in vitro fertilization at the expense of the state,” said Ivana Djunisijevic on behalf of RHIF.
This decision is of crucial importance for all women who are facing breast cancer. Such a disease, as well as its treatment, can lead to infertility, which creates additional psychological pressure, especially on women who have not yet become mothers at the time of diagnosis. In such situations, women fight a double battle – a battle for life and a battle for offspring.
“The goals of the Ministry of Health are to improve diagnosis and enhance treatment. On this path, everyone always has support. We care about our patients, especially the primary group of patients, such as those who have been diagnosed with malignant diseases. I think the fact that, to our knowledge, there is no longer a waiting list for radiation treatment today speaks to that. In the future, we plan to continue investing in diagnostic and treatment equipment, as well as in professional staff and regulations,” said Sladjana Djukic, Assistant Minister for Health Insurance at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia.
According to data from the Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”, breast cancer is the leading malignant tumour in terms of incidence and mortality among women in Serbia, although it can be completely cured with timely diagnosis and adequate therapy. According to the latest data from the Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”, 4,561 new cases were registered in one year, and unfortunately, 1,691 women lost the battle for their lives. That is why regular timely screening is essential for all women.
“Mammography is an X-ray examination of breast tissue and is the gold standard in diagnosing breast cancer. Mammography is also a secondary prevention test, which is used for early detection of this disease in a screening program. As part of the screening program, every woman aged 50 to 69 should have a mammogram done once every two years according to the recommendations of the International Agency for Research on Cancer,” said Prof. Dr. Verica Jovanović, Director of the Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”.
Traditionally, as part of the panel discussion for National Breast Cancer Day, Avon awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr Mirjana Branković-Magić, a geneticist, scientific advisor, and president of Europa Donna Serbia.
“One of the most important activities of Avon for almost two decades has been the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. I am proud that women recognize us as a brand and a community that empowers and cares for them! We responsibly and collectively send a strong message to everyone – breast cancer is curable in 90% of cases, only if it is detected on time through regular check-ups. National Breast Cancer Day is the ideal opportunity to remind women to schedule their check-up today because it is really the most important thing!” said Milica Savinšek, PR and Advertising Supervisor at Avon for the Adriatic region.
By highlighting the pink ribbon, TV and print media will support National Breast Cancer Day, and the Avala Tower and important buildings in Novi Sad will be illuminated in pink.