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Europacolon - Slovensko (Slovakia)

New club for support and information to colorectal cancer patients in Slovakia

A new support club for patients has been established by EuropaColon Slovakia with the National Oncological Institute (NOÚ). Attention in the past years has been dedicated to raising awareness about prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This year, EuropaColon decided to move operations further and direct attention to the needs of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).
 “We found also that patients already suffering from colorectal cancer (CRC) would have welcomed our help,“ says Jana Pifflová Španková, President of the new Club, “after diagnosis, it is usually difficult for patients to cope with their new situation – the possibility of having someone to whom they can refer, someone with whom they can discuss their concerns and problems associated with treatments etc., especially someone who survived a similar experience, is very valuable.”

The club will open from the beginning of April on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for two hours per day, from 10.00 to 13.00 h. Once a week, from 8.00 to 10.00,  a specialised physician will be available. Counselling services can also be offered, depending on demand. “We want to assist patients in their needs, but also to capture their voice and relay it to others, to identify what they miss in real life, what troubles them, what their needs are and then respond to all these facts by cooperation with experts.”  adds Španková.

The aim of the Patient's club is to create mutual contacts, provide information, as well as an interesting program of activities and create for patients an atmosphere where they will not need to feel discriminated and stigmatised because of their condition.

The Patients' Club, currently operates only in Bratislava. “We would like to expand into other regions of Slovakia.” says Španková. Patients may obtain additional information via a free information phone line or at the web page

EuropaColon Slovakia is already training a team of volunteers who will promote assistance to the patients personally and in direct contact inform patients about what they need to know to help them cope with their changed health status, including psychological and socio-economic aspects. All volunteers must undergo training with a psychologist, who will control the training of volunteers and provide the exact criteria, such as what is important for the team, not just professionally, but also mentally.

General Progress:
  • europacolon – Slovensko established on 22 May 2007
  • Since 22 June 2007 continuously providing and financing a free 'info-line' 0800 800 183 for the citizens of Slovakia

Awareness Campaigns:
  • 20/5/2008 launched CRC awareness Roadshow with the EUROCOLON – the europacolon Tour Slovensko 2008. First part of the roadshow has covered north part of Slovakia; the second part will cover the south part. The Road show has been supported by the Prime Minister of Slovakia.
  • Launch of an awareness campaign for GPs.
  • Awareness campagin for public/ patients in East (Kosice) and Western-North (Zilina) part of Slovakia for patients.
  • While in Brussels europacolon Slovensko met with Slovakian MEPs to discuss local and national issues and present the ideal of the Eurocolon Roadshow. As a result all venues where the Eurocolon was presented were free of charge and sponsors were very impressed by the fact that the show has in fact started in Brussels.

Patrik Herman (europacolon Slovensko), Irena Belohorska (Slovakian MEP), Jana Pifflova-Spankova (europacolon Slovensko) and Miroslav Mikolasik (Slovakian MEP)

Media Activity:

  • In June 2008 europacolon – Slovensko launched a very successful Slovak media campaign which included the insertion of an educational flyer informing of the prevention strategies that can be adopted to reduce the risk of developing CRC
  • The first National Public Survey CRC undertaken in October/ November 2007
  • Extensive national media coverage achieved in printed media, television and radio too numerous to list
  • 5 March 2009 - Press Conference with the Ministry of Health launching Awareness and Screening Campaign: free FOBT test, letters (inserts) in the largest circulation newspapers with a central laboratory responsible for accepting all FOBTs for analysis along with follow-up communication to respondents with the result
  • 6 March - Slovake TV weekly medical magazine will cover CRC during the month (“Diagnostika rakoviny hrubého čreva - Marec európsky mesiac osvety o kolorektálnom karcinóme”)

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