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Ольга Лигирда

The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s Project #RAKNEVYROK: Doctor Olha Lygyrda Shares Her Advice

The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation and VOGUE magazine, with support from TSUM Kyiv, continue the nationwide project #RAKNEVYROK. It is designed to provide psychological support to those who are fighting the disease, as well as to remind Ukrainian women of the importance of regular health checks, since early diagnosis saves lives and health. As part of the project #RAKNEVYROK, the best experts in the country advise how to accept the diagnosis and start fighting the disease.

One of the project’s experts was Olha Lygyrda, the head of the Department of Breast Tumours and Reconstructive Surgery of the National Cancer Institute, the Candidate of Medical Sciences. She recommended Ukrainian women to pay more attention to their health.

‘Dear women, take care of yourself! Sporadic breast cancer depends on a number of factors. Among them are a sedentary lifestyle and bad habits, such as alcohol and smoking. Today, these factors also include obesity, which is especially relevant for our population. These are late first childbirth, malnutrition, concomitant diseases of the thyroid gland, biliary tract, viral hepatitis, and gynaecological diseases. That is why, prevention and self-care, self-regard are extremely important!’

Olha Lygyrda also urged not to forget about the hereditary factor:

‘Remember about your genetics! Innate causes of breast cancer may already be in your body. If there is at least one case of breast cancer in a family along the female line, then oncologists from all over the world and we in Ukraine recommend genetic screening at least once in a lifetime. If the result is positive, then this suggests that in subsequent generations of men and women the risk of developing genetic breast cancer is 95-98%. At the same time, it is very aggressive and is detected in each subsequent generation 5-7 years earlier. For example, if a grandmother had the disease at 75, then her daughter may have it at 55 and her granddaughter even earlier.’

The expert also explained that women should not be afraid to consult a doctor.

‘Fortunately, all existing methods of treating breast cancer are now used in Ukraine. These include neoadjuvant preoperative chemotherapy and endocrine therapy, which are used already at the first stage of treatment. These are all types of surgical interventions on the breast, including reconstructive, plastic-restorative surgical operations. This is an efficient modern postoperative neoadjuvant and radiation therapy using modern linear accelerators. Endocrine and immune therapies are also applied. Therefore, in fact, oncologists in Ukraine use all the methods that exist in the world,’ Olha Lygyrda emphasized.

The project #RAKNEVYROK is also designed to show, using the real stories of its heroines as an example, that life after a diagnosis is possible and that cancer can be defeated.

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The project #RAKNEVYROK of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has become a logical continuation of the program CANCER CAN BE CURED. The Foundation launched this program back in 2008, and it was the first and largest program in Ukraine to help adult cancer patients. Thanks to it, about 400,000 Ukrainians received help (in total, about 1.2 million people in Ukraine have cancer). This involved the purchase of diagnostic equipment for oncology dispensaries (cancer treatment centres) in Ukraine and equipment for complex surgical operations, the launch of mobile women’s health consultations and much more. Every fourth resident of Ukraine has access to modern diagnostic equipment provided by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation to healthcare institutions of the country.