Cancer prevention

The timely diagnosis and prevention of bowel and rectal cancer

Cancer of the large intestine is the most frequently occurring malignant disease in both sexes in this country and its occurrence is on the increase.  The Czech Republic thus holds an infamous primacy on a worldwide scale. The precise causes of this phenomenon may involve the intersection of a number of civilisation factors such as obesity, insufficient physical activity, a specific diet with high alcohol consumption and smoking.

The efforts of doctors have been insufficient to prevent this and it has been shown that programs gain in credibility, if they are implemented by individuals from a different environment. Mrs Dagmar Havlová, the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Dagmar and Václav Havel’s VIZE 97 Foundation, also became aware of this fact and, after consulting with the representatives of the Czech Gastroenterological Association, she therefore set out a joint approach at the end of the 1990s which especially involved the mediation of a number of meetings of the main officials concerned and the search for funds. The result of this was the declaration of the national programme based on stool examinations and colonoscopies in 2000. Thanks to the efforts of Mrs Dagmar Havlová, a total of 300,000,000 CZK has been collected and this has enabled the equipping of a dense network of endoscopic workplaces so as to enable them to meet the great demands of the preventative programme. In the 7 years since its establishment, the programme has become generally well-known in society. The number of stool examinations for bleeding has increased 16 times, while the number of colonoscopies has increased 1.6 times and has thus become comparable with the numbers of colonoscopies in the United States and Germany. The programme has gained significant attention from the international medical fraternity and specialists from the Czech Gastroenterology Association have had repeated opportunities to present the programme at various scientific forums. At their initiative and with the participation of Mrs Dagmar Havlová, an international symposium took place in Vienna in 2002 which was attended by specialists from fifteen European and non-European countries and was closely followed by the Austrian media. The VIZE 97 Foundation has since especially focussed on the development of the media programme, support for the top workplaces and support for domestic scientific projects based on the data acquired from the programme. As well as the prevention programme, which is admittedly exceedingly important, but is somewhat passive, it will also endorse a healthy way of life which should lead to a real fall in the numbers of cases of this malignant disease. Part of the media campaign will include an emphasis on the necessity of an active approach on the part of our citizens.

Several versions of television commercials have been created, in which celebrities urge viewers to visit their doctor. The Foundation VIZE 97 decided to continue building on this successful cooperation with Czech TV in 2014 as well and the result was the filming of a new commercial at the Prague Crossroads. You can take a look at the commercial here.

Official website of the project entitled Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme in the Czech Republic