The President of Malta, George Vella, said that cancer patients are not alone, and we need to look at them in the context of family and society so that ancillary services offer a complete therapy that takes into consideration their family and the people close to them.
Addressing a conference organised by the National Cancer Platform in relation to World Cancer Day with the theme 'Getting through Cancer together', the President said that cancer remains one of the greatest challenges that medicine must overcome.
Despite the developments in this field, the President stated that there is still a lot to be done and that there is still a need for organisations that work with so much dedication in different aspects of cancer. “The National Cancer Platform is providing strength in unity. It consists of a number of organisations that have largely totally different interests, but you come together and help each other because you are looking at this challenge from a holistic point of view," remarked the president.
In his opening speech, President Vella said that the organisations need to focus on education and awareness about what cancer is, its dangers, and how it can be prevented where possible. He remarked that despite current awareness, some people still ignore warnings against smoking and excessive drinking, among others, and the possible impact of substances, such as drugs, on our health.
The National Cancer Platform, under the patronage of the President of Malta, brings together nine non-governmental organisations that work or are interested in some aspect related to cancer patients in Malta: Action for Breast Cancer Foundation, Alive Charity Foundation, Aurora Support Services, Europa Donna Malta, Hospice Movement, Karl Vella Foundation, The Malta Community Chest Fund, Malta Colorectal Cancer Awareness Group, and Puttinu Cares.
President Vella thanked all those taking part in the National Cancer Platform, which was founded in 2015 and became a voluntary organisation in 2019 with the aim of strengthening the valuable work carried out in the cancer sector.
At the start of the conference at the Verdala Palace, Dr Noel Buttigieg Scicluna, Chairman of the National Cancer Platform, thanked the President and Mrs Vella for their active participation as patrons of the National Cancer Platform.