Professor Nguyen Ba Duc, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Association for Cancer, gives the opening speech at the conference (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – More than 200 doctors and cancer specialists participated in a scientific conference in Hanoi to update their knowledge about new methods of treating breast cancer.

The conference was held by the Bright Future-Supportive Fund for Cancer Patients and Hoffnamm-La Roche Co Ltd on March 26.

During the conference, doctors and experts discussed and shared their experience on discovering and treating breast cancer type HER2.

HER2 (human epidermal growth factor) is a protein that can affect the growth of some cancer cells. It is found on the surface of normal breast cells. Some breast cancer cells have a very high number of HER2 receptors. The extra HER2 receptors stimulate the cancer cells to divide and grow. When there are higher levels of the HER2 protein in a breast cancer, it is called HER2 positive breast cancer.

Statistics from Vietnam’s National Cancer Hospital show that every year it sees 12,000 new breast cancer patients, and 25 percent of these suffered from breast cancer type HER2.

Professor Nguyen Ba Duc, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Association for Cancer, said that the conference would expand knowledge for doctors and experts to provide comprehensive discovery and treatment for breast cancer.

Early discovery has an important and meaningful role in cancer treatment, he said.

If the disease is discovered during the very first phase, it can be cured in more than 80 percent of cases. However, if the cancer is discovered during the second phase, the rate of survival drops to 60 percent. And if the disease is discovered in the third or fourth phase, treatment can only lengthen the patients’ lives and reduce their pain, he said.

Doctor Trinh Thu Van, a representative from Hoffnamm-La Roche Co Ltd in Vietnam, said, “Working together with the Ministry of Health over the past three years, we’re very happy that more and more women are having breast cancer checks and that more enterprises are giving them support to control the disease.”

Controlling breast cancer was not only directly meaningful for the patients, but also brings great socio-economic benefits to the country, she said.-VNA