Valladolid (EFE).- On February 4, World Cancer Day is celebrated worldwide, promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and as a prelude to this day of protest and reflection, the president of the Spanish Association Against Cancer in Castilla y León and from Valladolid, Artemio Domínguez, answers EFE ten questions about this group of diseases.
1.- QUESTION: Is cancer still a cursed diagnosis that changes your life?
ARTEMIO DOMÍNGUEZ: I think less and less and the Spanish Association Against Cancer works to make it so. For this we are generating a movement that involves the whole of society with the motto All against cancer.
2.- How many cases of cancer are there each year in Castilla y León? Are they stabilized? What are the most prevalent types of cancer in the Community? Are cancer rates higher in Castilla y León also due to depopulation and aging?
A: In 2022, 18,049 new cases of cancer have been registered in Castilla y León, compared to 17,889 in 2021. By types: colorectal (more than 2,600 cases), prostate, breast and lung. The most frequent cancer in men is prostate cancer and in women breast cancer. In both cases the second is the colorectal. The highest incidence by age in the region is in people over 75 years of age, so aging is a key factor. The forecast for 2030 is that 1 in 3 men and 1 in 3 women will have the disease.
3.- What is in our power to prevent cancer? To what extent do we do it?
A: Research is the only way to stop cancer. It also favors leading a healthier life, avoiding tobacco, alcohol and obesity, as well as encouraging physical exercise. In addition, it is important that the target population participate in screening for colon, cervical, and breast cancer.
4.- How to face the day after having overcome cancer? Is it possible to overcome that fear?
A: Each patient has a different way of coping with the disease. The Spanish Association Against Cancer facilitates this process by offering free psychological care and social care services, among others, throughout the disease process, including mourning in the event of the loss of a family member.
5.- Do you think we will cure cancer or that the time will come when cancer becomes a chronic disease?
A: We continue to bet on advancing in better understanding the disease. The more research, the more life. In this sense, the Association currently has 104 million euros committed nationwide, divided into 500 active projects; Of which, 26 of these studies are carried out in centers in Castilla y León, with an amount of about 9.5 million euros.
6.- Are there still stigmas of cancer in society and at work?
A: We have come a long way in this regard in recent years. All of us know someone close to us who has had cancer and far from separating them, they are protected and accompanied.
7.- Does a cancer patient in Castilla y León have access to the same resources as in Madrid? And what about someone who lives in a town compared to someone who lives in a community capital?
A: Cancer is the same for everyone, but not all people are the same when faced with cancer. The Association seeks to achieve equity so that the zip code, among other factors, is not a determining factor when dealing with the disease.
8.- Covid has made vaccines fashionable in record time. Is cancer vaccine a utopia?
A: Covid has shown that research is the only way to end diseases. Of course, vaccines help to stop cancer, an effective example is that of the Human Papillomavirus.
9.- Does the healthcare system in Castilla y León dedicate sufficient resources to cancer?
A: The Spanish Association Against Cancer works to detect the needs of cancer patients and collaborates with public institutions to ensure that they are covered.
10.- Does each capital need a radiotherapy unit?
A: Yes, it is a necessity. The news we have is that steps are being taken to make it a reality soon. All that remains is to install a radiotherapy unit in Soria, Palencia and Ponferrada. EFE