In general, Latvian society has a poor understanding of cancer. People have fears and prejudices. Frequently, the “ostrich policy” is practiced – “I will not do any more investigations in order not to find out anything bad.” It is popular to use healers’ services or various scientifically unproven methods, as if for cancer treatment, which often leads to unpredictable consequences. There are also a lot of mythical assumptions about what can lead to cancer or how to live after cancer – what should be eaten, what should not be eaten, what would be the right thing to think of, what wouldn’t , what is the right formula of life.
In hospitals, there is an insufficient supply of informational materials on various practical issues related to cancer, for example, information about everything related to chemotherapy in the human body. Unfortunately, the stone is also to be found in the family doctor’s garden, which does not always pay due attention to the patient’s complaints about the symptoms, or even worse – in rural areas, there is no secret of the patient’s illness, which proves one of the reasons why people avoid attending a doctor.
At the same time, there is a lot of routine; we have long been accustomed to a situation where there is clearly a violation of the healthy lifestyle – smoking, extreme sunbathing, unhealthy use of chemicals in aerosols and inadequate cooking.
In Latvia, the involvement of volunteers practically is not developed, either in hospital or in support of patients at home. Even if the patient has family support, it is sometimes important to give respite to the carer and to allow another person to go to the store, prepare a meal, maintain the garden or read a book to them.
This program will, step by step, tackle this wide range of problematic issues in order to raise public awareness of cancer and raise overall responsibility for this problem.