Every year, on February 4, World Cancer Day is celebrated, promoted by the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) with the goal of increasing awareness and mobilize to society to advance in the prevention and control of this disease. Since 2019, the campaign of World Cancer Day It is “I am and I will” calling on anyone to act against cancer. Any individual action can lead to a global change, and this is what we want to reflect. On World Cancer Day, who are you and what are you going to do?
The Cancer It is a disease that causes great physical and mental suffering, even death, and its management always requires great dedication in terms of time, investment, means, and good organization. Throughout the disease Many unforeseen and delicate situations arise that require great individual adaptation to overcome them.
But, this year a new challenge has been added to this disease, the covid-19. We could not imagine that the pandemic caused by covid-19 would affect cancer patients so much: fundamental tests and treatments are being de-programmed (radiology, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery), which will then be reprogrammed when possible. All these changes are causing a significant delay, both in diagnosis and in treatments.
The publications consulted tell us that around 20% less patients are being diagnosed with cancer than in previous years. This should keep us alert to the dysfunction that comes with the health crisis. The deprogramming of tests and treatments that are being carried out in the SNS (especially in severe pathologies, and specifically cancer), will require a great effort, and the collaboration of all the actors, including the users.
The first wave of the covid-19 pandemic meant a decrease in both the number of new diagnoses and the initiation of new treatments, and there is still no data on the second. The short, medium and long-term consequences seem inevitable, despite the best efforts of professionals in the field of cancer.
In addition, to this we add that the early detection Cancer allows treating the tumor in its early stages, increasing the chances of curative treatment. To detect it, the healthy population at risk for this cancer must carry out a test that is usually easy to carry out.
A fundamental part in this situation are the Associations against Cancer, which must be represented in some way, and will contribute a truthful point of view. From the Association “Alicante for the fight against Cancer” promote a healthy lifestyle which includes avoiding tobacco use, getting enough physical activity, eating healthy, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding excessive sun exposure.
Psychological care is essential, seeks to support and guide the patient and their family members, favoring their adaptation to each phase of the disease.
– The objective is help al patient and their relatives to recognize, face and channel the emotional reactions that may arise during the process.
– The goal is to provide the patient and their family members with resources to to get better the communication with the doctor and health.
– There are also services to support the grieving processes.
– From the Association they provide Attention presential Y by video call.
Manifesto of the Alicante Association for the Fight Against Cancer
• Maintain screening and diagnostic tests. The fear of cancer is perfectly justified.
• Organize very well and with great equity the reprogramming from tests and treatments that had been deprogrammed.
• Ensure that the medication required by patients to be achieved safely, quickly and effectively. In the current situation it is almost impossible to communicate with care services (both specialized and primary).
• Consider patients with immunosuppression and cancer as a risk group, to include them in the vaccination plans by covid-19.
• Invest in staff and media in the public health system, include part of the European funds. Take into account this and future pandemics to have what is necessary, in case a fourth, fifth or sixth wave occurs, or a new pathogen agent.
• Society participation civil, through associations, in the organization of all these actions.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.