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About POLA

About POLA
Reports, recommendations, studies
Slides from seminars and events
POLA volunteers

Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition (POLA) is one of the largest non-governmental umbrella organizations in Lithuania, joining together 30 patient organizations and more than 23 000 oncology patients.

In its activities, POLA’s practice is to represent and protect the interests of oncological patients in public authorities and in various areas of public policy-making. Furthermore, POLA offers a wide range of services such as psychological or legal assistance, an assessment of possible treatment alternatives, as well as nearly 100 discounts and free services of the partners of POLA.

The initiative to establish Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition came in 2009 but the organization’s practice came into force in 2012. POLA’s objective is to ensure oncological patients receive more effective treatment, psychological, emotional, and social support, as well as all the information they need. Throughout these years, POLA has become one of the most recognizable non-governmental organizations in the country, representing the interests of oncology patients, both at the political and public levels.

Paulius Rakštys
President of POLA
Richard Cervin
Member of the Board
Jurga Misevičienė
Member of the Board
Justina Gustė
Member of the Board
Nedas Šinkūnas
Member of the Board
Šarūnas Narbutas
Member of the Board
Neringa Čiakienė
Jolita Vyšniauskienė
POLA Card Project Leader
Irena Švedienė
POLA Community Coordinator
Legal Counsel
Agnė Švainickienė
Project Manager
Jūratė Tamošaitytė
POLA Project Administrator
Jūratė Povilavičienė
Project Coordinator
Kornelija Kunigonytė
Communication Coordinator
Paulius Povilonis
POLA Mobile App and Event Coordinator
Guoda Gudelytė
POLA Home Coordinator
Virginija Kazlauskienė
POLA Card Ambassador in Vilnius
POLA Card Ambassador in Kaunas

Our annual reports are available in Lithuanian via here.

POLA recommendations, studies and position papers (in Lithuanian):

POLA event and training materials (in Lithuanian)

International Conference “Ways to Improve the Efficiency of the Health System”

How to improve cooperation between doctor and patient? (Part III)

How to improve cooperation between doctor and patient? (Part II)

How to improve cooperation between doctor and patient? (Part I)

When are we going to stop giving bribes to the health system?

Rational use of medicines

Challenges in ‘end-of-life’ issues in health care

Problems and solutions of oncology patients

Communication in achieving organization’s objectives

Communication in representation of the interests of patients

How to improve communication between the doctor and the patient

Video of professor Robert J. Thomas’s 2017-04-05 lecture to patients with translation to Lithuanian

Currently, POLA brings together 30 organizations that play an active role in the area of cancer support.

Don't stay alone!

Once facing the diagnosis of cancer, a person very frequently tends to close himself, not to share his experiences and fears with others. However, this does not help to recover, but only complicates the psychological condition of the sufferer, leading to depression and more frustration. At this point, psychological support and assistance from anyone aside are crucial. According to specialists, family relationships, communication with people with a similar diagnosis in psychological self-help groups are very important for patients with oncological diseases.

POLA invites people of similar destiny to form communities – patient societies in order to overcome oncological disease together.

In this section, you will find contacts of non-governmental organizations already operating in Lithuania, but if you cannot find any around your location, we will advise and help you to bring together such a community in your region.

POLA’s list of actual members
  1. Lithuanian Association of Patients with Prostate Cancer
  2. Šiauliai City Women’s Breast Pathology Association “SALVIA”
  3. Lithuanian Society of Brain Tumor Patients and Their Caregivers
  4. Birštonas Oncology Club “Viltis gyventi”
  5. Elektrėnai  Health Society “Mes Esame”
  6. “Viva Femina” Society of Women with Oncological Diseases in Šilutė District
  7. “EIVENA”Society of Women with Oncological Diseases
  8. Society of Colorectal Cancer Patients
  9. Plunge Association of Oncological Diseases “Mano lemtis”
  10. Charity and Support Fund “Mamų unija”
  11. Public institution “Virtus LT”
  12. Public institution “Inkocentras”
  13. Public institution “Bene esse”
  14. Public institution “Šiauliai Palliative Care and Care Centre”
  15. Public institution “Vita Digna”
  16. Public institution “Patient Psychological Support Centre”
  17. Association “Aušvis”
  18. Charity and Support Fund “Pagalbos namuose tarnyba”
  19. Association “Onkologinė savipagalba Lazdijuose”
  20. Vilkaviškis Cancer Patients Association “Viltis”
  21. Marijampolė Cancer Patients Association “Rūpestėlis”
  22. Jurbark Cancer Patients Association “JOLA”
  23. Utena Cancer Patients Association “Vilties kelias”
  24. Jonavos Cancer Patients Association 
  25. Association “Onkologinės ligos draugas”
  26. Ukmergė Cancer Patients Association “Uola”
  27. Rokiškis Cancer Patients Association “Vilties žybsnis”
  28. Mažeikiai Cancer Patients Association “Sveik Veik”
  29. Raseiniai Cancer Patients Association “Versmė” 
  30. Panevėžys Cancer Patients Association “Myliu gyvenimą”   d.golciene@gmail.com
What opportunities does membership in POLA offer?

Any non-governmental or public organization providing assistance to people with oncological diseases and their families can become a member of POLA.


As a POLA member, you will have the possibility to:

  • Participate in solving relevant questions and problems in the field of oncology
  • Influence legislative process in the field of oncology. For example, the members of POLA participate actively in meetings of the Ministry of Health and the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania.
  • Cooperate and consult with members of the Association in resolving any issues prominent to the organization.
  • Build connections with other organizations in the field of oncology in Lithuania and abroad. For example, The Macmillan Cancer support, a non-governmental organization based in the United Kingdom, Cancer Choices in Northern Ireland, and the charity fund “The Tiltas Trust”.
  • Participate in events and projects organized by POLA.
  • Use POLA card, which gives you the opportunity to take the advantage of discounts provided by POLA partners and participate in POLA loyalty programs.
  • Be more visible and known both locally and internationally.
  • Not only to contribute to the common aim to improve the quality of life of oncological patients and their relatives but also to successfully achieve self-fulfillment.
  • Besides directly contributing to the common goal of improving the quality of life of oncology patients and their relatives, successfully realize Yourself.
  • Communicate not only on the professional level but also get to know each other and enjoy your leisure time during various events (conferences, seminars, training, etc.).


While aiming its goals, Lithuanian Cancer Patient Coalition (POLA) is engaged in multiple projects.

Being a relatively young organization, POLA has initiated and successfully implemented the project aimed at translating and producing information materials. The project was made possible with the support of the British Embassy and Vilnius Old Town Rotary Club. For the translation of the “A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Cancer’”and “Understanding Cancer Of Unknown Primary” publications from English to Lithuanian, a cooperation agreement was signed with a British organisation Macmillan Cancer Support.

In June 2014, in the Parliament of Northern Ireland POLA and Cancer Choices, an NGO from Northern Ireland, presented results of their successful cooperation: 8 bilingual leaflets on cancer prevention, which were prepared on the basis of Cancer Research UK’s publications. Later on, the information materials were distributed among POLA members and cancer information centres in Lithuania, where they are freely available to all cancer patients and their families.

One of the major projects is the POLA card project, aiming to provide and develop a membership card for POLA community (cancer patients and their family members), also serving as a loyalty and discount card providing a possibility to engage into the programmes of POLA and its partners. The latter includes service and
goods providers which had signed cooperation agreements for the benefit of POLA cardholders.

Another longterm project aimes to enhance and develop community of cancer patients and comprise different activities related to development of advocacy skills and health literacy competences of cancer patient and their organizations.

POLA will continously put efforts to develop cancer information and support centres and contribute to the establishment of patient support groups across Lithuania. The centres are to provide comprehensive information and support to patients, their families and a variety of regional patient support organisations.

Everyone willing to contribute to the implementation of POLA activities is welcome to contact POLA Director Neringa Čiakienė.

Dalia, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer coordinator
Regina, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Aušra, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Aurima, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Rūta, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Evelina, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Vilija, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Gražina, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Renata, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Miglė, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Dalė, Kaunas
POLA card volunteer
Dana, Klaipėda
POLA card volunteer
Rita, Šiauliai
POLA card volunteer
Vida, Šiauliai
POLA card volunteer
Aldona, Marijampolė
POLA card volunteer
Danutė, Mariampolė
POLA card volunteer
Iveta, Vilnius
POLA card volunteer
Evangelina, Vilnius
POLA events volunteer
Irena, Kaunas
POLA consultations volunteer
Livija, Kaunas
POLA consultations volunteer
Irena, Kaunas
POLA consultations volunteer
Genutė, Marijampolė
POLA consultations volunteer
Aldona, Marijampolė
POLA consultations volunteer
Nida, Klaipėda
POLA consultations volunteer
Lina, Klaipėda
POLA consultations volunteer
Brigita, Vilnius
POLA consultations volunteer
Lina, Vilnius
POLA consultations volunteer
Marius, Vilnius
POLA consultations volunteer
Laima, Vilnius
POLAconsultations volunteer
Gražina, Vilnius
POLA consultations volunteer
Jurgita, Vilnius
POLA consultations volunteer
Anora, Panevėžys
POLA consultations volunteer
Asta, Birštonas
POLA card ambassador
Daiva, Biržai
POLA card ambassador
Jovita, Klaipėda
POLA card ambassador
Aldutė, Ukmergė
POLA card ambassador
Aurelija, Kaunas
POLA card ambassador
Daiva, Molėtai
POLA card ambassador
Dalė, Lazdijai
POLA card ambassador
Dalė, Panevėžys
POLA card ambassador
Danguolė, Rokiškis
POLA card ambassador
Kazys, Vilkaviškis
POLA card ambassador
Kristina, Kėdainiai
POLA card ambassador
Kristina, Elektrėnai
POLA card ambassador
Lina, Jurbarkas
POLA card ambassador
Roma, Marijampolė
POLA card ambassador
Nijolė, Šiauliai
POLA card ambassador
Rasa, Mažeikiai
POLA card ambassador
Stanislava, Utena
POLA card ambassador
Daiva, Tauragė
POLA card ambassador
Rimas, Trakai
POLA card ambassador
Virginija, Vilnius
POLA card ambassador
Aušra, Alytus
POLA card volunteer
Lina, Klaipėda
POLA card volunteer
Liudmila, Rokiškis
POLA card volunteer
Monika, Jonava
POLA card volunteer
Sigitas, Klaipėda
POLA card volunteer
Valerijus, Mariampolės
POLA card volunteer
Vitalija, Šiauliai
POLA card volunteer
Ernesta, Pakruojis
POLA card ambassador
Arina, Skuodas
POLA card ambassador