President Dalia Grybauskaitė and healthcare experts urge women to check their health


2022 10 14


The Breast Health Day on 15 October approaches and the President Dalia Grybauskaitė, together with the National Health Insurance Fund under the Ministry of Health (NHIF) urges the Lithuanian women to be more active in taking care of their health and go for periodic check-ups under the breast cancer prevention programme, funded from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (CHIF). Timely check-ups enable to diagnose oncological diseases in their early stage, ensuring successful treatment.

Breast cancer is the most common oncological disease among women all over the world. World Health Organisation (WHI) estimates that breast cancer, diagnosed for 2.3 million women in 2020, took 685 thousand lives. Lithuanian statistics are grim as well. According to the Institute of Hygiene, the number of women with malignant breast tumours was as high as 18,735. That is 670 women more than the year before last. 535 women died to breast cancer last year.

‘The majority of the women with breast cancer all over the world do not have any opportunities for timely diagnosis and quality treatment. With a strong healthcare system, Lithuania provides women with a free opportunity to check their health for one of the most dangerous and vicious oncological diseases. You only need to take the opportunity and go for a check-up. Find some time to take care of your health. Perhaps this will be your chance for a second life.’ says the former Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

WHO experts claim that breast cancer treatment may be very effective, especially if the disease is detected at the onset. The rate of survival is 90 per cent or even more. This makes oncological disease prevention very important.

The NHIF has been funding breast cancer prevention programme for already 18 years. The programme targets women with compulsory health insurance coverage, ages 50-69 (inclusive), who may go for a mammographic examination every two years. With a GP prescription for the examination, women can book their visit to an institution, which has a mammography device in person or by phone. It’s important to make sure that the institution chosen has an agreement with a NHIF territorial division – then the patients will not have to pay for the healthcare services. The examination results will be delivered by the general physician, who will receive them from the institution that works with mammographies.

The representative survey, commissioned by NHIF this summer, showed that the population is most aware of the breast cancer prevention programme. Every seventh person, taking part at the survey, marked this as a programme they knew. However, the implementation results are insufficient: only the smaller share of the target population – 38 per cent – actually use the breast cancer prevention programme to check their health.

‘A little more than half a million women took part at the breast cancer prevention programme in recent five years. Thanks to mammographic examination, malignant changes were detected or suspected in nearly 3.5 thousand patients. Taking part at a preventive programme helped thousands Lithuanian women to prevent the spread of this disease, thus saving not only their health, but also lives. Thus we urge the women to be more active and contact their general practitioner for a check-up.’ says Tatjana Golubajeva, Deputy Director at NHIF.

Breast cancer prevention programme is receiving increasing amounts of funds from CHIF every year. This year the funds allocated reached as much as 4.6 million Euro, which is half a million Euro more than last year.

In Lithuania, CHIF funds two women’s disease prevention programmes – breast and cervical cancer. However, they are also welcome to check their health under cardiovascular disease and colon cancer prevention programmes. Women, covered by the compulsory health insurance and within the target age group, wishing to check their health under these programmes, only need to contact their general physician.

NHIF is kindly reminding that patients that do not fall under the age range, established in a specific preventive programme, but are worried about their health, should immediately go to their general physician as well. Upon assessing their health, a GP will conduct the necessary examinations to establish the reason for ailment and begin treatment or issue a referral to a doctor, specialising in a particular area.

More information on free disease prevention programmes, implemented in Lithuania, is available here:

(Pixabay photo)

The NHIF invites you:

Your questions are welcome by email [email protected] or phone: local (8 5) 232 2222, international +370 5 232 222