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Best anti-cancer: prevention

Posted 31.3.2013 13:30:40CET


Experts gathered at the first Spanish summit on cancer, which is being held at the Ministry of Health on Thursday and organized by the Spanish Group of Cancer Patients (GEPAC), said that unlike normal thinking, the best treatment against Cancer is actually primary and secondary prevention through healthy lifestyle habits or screening programs.

A conference that seeks, with the help of politicians, representatives of public and private institutions, scientific societies, oncologists, patients and other professionals, of consistency in positions, the setting of common goals in cancer strategy, and the draft of a first letter, with different procedures to be followed at national level.

Every year, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data, approximately 14 million new cases are diagnosed around the world and its incidence is increasing. In Spain, according to the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), 228,482 diagnoses were made in 2017, and 70% is expected to grow in the coming decades.

However, as Dr. María Luisa Martín Alfaro, a breast cancer patient, explains, "50% of cases of cancer can be" prevented by healthy behavior ". "It's more effective than best treatment, prevention is the foundation," he said. In this respect, he argued that the "priority" of health systems should focus on this aspect.

In the same vein, Ramón y Cajal, the head of Ramón y Cajal, the department's department of medical oncology, Pilar Garrido, said that "up to 90 percent of the funds are intended to improve diagnostic and therapeutic tools." While acknowledging that they are "crucial," he points out that he is "just the tip of the glacier".

"The key would be to pursue a primary prevention strategy and take control of the most common risk factors for cancer," Garrido said. The same view is shared by Florentino Pérez Raya, Chairman of the General Counsel of Nursing (CGE), who has decided to take a step further and promote education in healthy habits from an early age in schools themselves.

"Children should get used to having a healthy life and avoiding dangerous habits such as smoking or not playing sports," said Pérez Raya, who also advocated the role of a school nurse as the appropriate social agent in promoting these healthy practices, which are no longer limited to primary the treatment he usually does.


Garrido, an expert on lung cancer, focused on the possibility of preventing these tumors by quitting smoking. The doctor demanded "continuing the measures" against tobacco. "There is laxity in the control of the Tobacco Act, its adherence has been relaxed, we should not be passive citizens, but the administration has a huge responsibility," he criticized.

He also repeated, citing various studies that screening for lung cancer in high-risk smokers "reduces mortality." "It is a topic that needs to be debated as we identify the people who smoke, for these screening programs, to believe in prevention, because they are the ones who mostly help to manage this problem," he said.

Concerning convictions, Martín Alfaro has stated in detail, as a doctor and patient, that "they sometimes refuse to change these habits, such as Abandon Tobacco." Therefore, he decided to extend the information verified by the consultations to "escape from" Dr. Google "because it is worth removing myths." "The best advice is from a professional, because sometimes patients are very confused," he concluded.

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