The coronavirus crisis has aggravated the situation of inequality and vulnerability of the population with cancer and even 41% of patients have developed anxiety or depression during the pandemic, according to data from the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) on the occasion of World Day, which is celebrated this Thursday.
“Cancer is the same for everyone, but not everyone is the same when it comes to cancer,” is the message that the president of the AECC, Ramón Reyes, wants to convey in a unique year in which the pandemic has hit cancer patients, that have seen their diagnoses and treatments neglected before the priority of the covid.
In fact, one in five patients has not been diagnosed or has been diagnosed late, 20% of cancer patients have seriously worsened their economic situation during confinement, and 17% have not yet recovered.
These are figures that the AECC has provided, which, on the occasion of this world day, has claimed a “great deal against cancer” so that the entire population has the same ease in making healthy decisions that would prevent up to 50% of cases.
This agreement also seeks to contemplate the access of the entire population to programs cancer screening regardless of place of residence and that people with this disease can access specialized psychological treatment.
It is, in short, that cancer does not cause poverty in the most vulnerable people and no one is left undiagnosed as a result of any kind of crisis.
It also proposes that the entire population have the same access possibilities to the rresearch results about the disease.
Within today’s session, the AECC has convened an act in which four cancer patients will contribute their testimonies about the reality that they live with the disease and will be an example of how it has been aggravated by the coronavirus health crisis.
According to the AECC, in Spain not all people have the same chances of facing cancer both in its prevention and in treatments.
This is the case of colon cancer screening programs, whose access is very unequal depending on the autonomy in which they reside. Nor is access to specialized psychological treatment easy for both patients and their families. According to the AECC, 94 percent of the autonomous communities offer “insufficient or no” coverage.
Access to radiotherapy services is another example of “inequity”, according to this association. This vital treatment is not given equally in all communities, so there are patients who have to bear the financial cost and in the case of cancer patients who have to change residence, the average cost can reach 1,100 euros.
Today, on the occasion of the world day of this disease, which will affect one in three people at some point in their life, emblematic buildings from all over Spain will illuminate their facades in green.
In Madrid, the Palacio de Comunicaciones headquarters of the City Council and the Cibeles fountain will do it from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. The facades of the Madrid city councils of Torrejón de Ardoz, Pinto, Rivas Vaciamadrid, Alcorcón, Móstoles, Alcalá de Henares, Alcobendas, Getafe, Leganés, Navalcarnero and Manzanares del Real, among others, will also be dyed green for a few hours.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.