A trip full of small-big steps
By Dr. Eva Ciruelos
Every October 19 we celebrate with illusion and hope the Day Against Breast Cancer. This year we can talk about new research that improves the treatment of this disease. Now we know much more about the risk factors that can cause cancer, we also know the genetic factors and we investigate every day to get the best possible treatment for each patient.
Women with breast cancer live their disease in the first person. What does it mean? They are patient, but they are also decision makers. And in my daily activity I have found that the disease itself is surely the main concern of women diagnosed with breast cancer, but I know they are also worried about the possibility of making decisions about the treatment and its consequences. They are often distressed by the side effects, the impact of the treatment on their ability to work and care for their children, the physical and psychological consequences; in general, for the changes that will mark his life.
Health professionals have also modified our approach when talking with patients. At least from my experience I can say that we make this journey of diagnosis, treatment, recovery and revisions together. It is a trip full of doubts, good and bad news.
In the case of advanced disease, this journey has a longer and longer journey thanks to advances in research have become more effective treatments. It is a journey full of hope and hope, as I said at the beginning.
A trip in which many people intervene: the patient, the doctors, the nursing staff, auxiliaries, the couple, family, friends, etc.
They also travel with us people we do not see, and they are the researchers. Science advances thanks to research, be it from hospitals, in basic research centers and in independent academic groups, the university or private enterprise. The research advances through the efforts of many health and non-health professionals, and also thanks to the generosity of patients who enter clinical trials for the global benefit, acquired through a better knowledge of the disease to reduce the risk of cancer. of breast.
It is true that some advances may not be so spectacular as to appear on the news every day. However, every little step we take in the knowledge of breast cancer is a great victory for everyone.
The quality level of Spanish Medical Oncology is excellent, both in clinical practice and in research; Proof of this is the team of oncologists and researchers of recognized prestige at national and international level who are part of our country. The majority of promoters (pharmaceutical companies and others) come to our country to have our centers in their clinical studies, which means that at the level of our professionals, the experience in the latest treatments is very good, and at the level of our patients. have the opportunity to participate in these studies that can change their lives and those of others.
It continues to be necessary the support of all to continue evolving and getting that the small-big advances that are presented in national and international congresses are translated into clinical practice in the shortest time possible in order to contribute to improve the prognosis and well-being of our patients.
I hope that these supports are maintained and improved, mainly from public institutions, allocating a greater proportion of the country's wealth to clinical research, and also from private companies, through collaborations and support to research groups and medical societies. To do this, it is essential to raise awareness and sensitize everyone in this Day against breast cancer.