A few days after the new European recommendations on cancer screening, ‘Frecciarosa’ is back, the breast cancer prevention project promoted by the IncontraDonna Foundation with the FS Italiane Group and the patronage of the Ministry of Health which provides visits for the entire month of October, Free consultancy and ultrasound scans on board the High-speed, Intercity and Regional trains and in the FrecciaLounge of Roma Termini and Milano Centrale. The initiative was presented today in a press conference at the “Villa Patrizi” Auditorium at the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane headquarters in Rome. The project, now in its twelfth edition, also sees the collaboration of Aiom (Italian Association of Medical Oncology), Farmindustria and has the patronage of Agenas and Sport e Salute.
There is an air of ‘normality’ with the decrease in restrictions due to Covid and finally the possibility (which is at the same time a duty) to take care of one’s health by focusing on prevention to arrive at the early diagnosis of breast cancer which, thanks also to greater attention to screening, mortality has decreased by almost 7% in the last six years. “Today, in Italy, there are about 834,200 women with a diagnosis of breast cancer behind them – she says Saverio Cinieri, president Aiom. If even the great therapeutic innovations of recent years allow us, today, to cure or chronicize these neoplasms, we must not forget that early diagnosis is what allows us to intervene on the disease before it is late. The sooner the neoplasm is identified, the greater the chances of treating it “.
The new European recommendations for screening
And, in fact, one of the most significant data is that relating to 55 thousand new cases a year with an 88% survival 5 years from diagnosis. “Breast cancer is the most frequent in the entire Italian population – he declares Adriana Bonifacino, president of the IncontraDonna Foundation. A few days ago the Commission of the European Union of Health (Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan) established, through new recommendations, that mammography screening should be provided throughout Europe for the 45-74 age group ”.
The health handbook
The goal of the Europe Beating Cancer Plan does not stop at reaching 90% screening for breast cancer by 2025, but aims to achieve the same percentages for colorectal and cervix, as well as extending screening to other types of neoplasms such as prostate, lungs and stomach. “Frecciarosa, in line with the new indications, is the project that was the first in Italy, for 12 years already, with the Vademecum of Health, with recommendations for cancer prevention in several areas, including lifestyles that remain a ‘ essential weapon against cancer ”, adds Bonifacino.
The testimonials of 2022
The testimonials of the 2022 edition are the singer Toscathe dance teacher Carolyn Smith, icon of the battle against cancer, and one delegation of the women’s synchronized swimming teamchampion of Europe 2022. Laura di Mauro will bear further testimony as a patient. “Physical activity is one of the essential elements for a healthy life. Along with proper nutrition, getting started is considered one of the most effective behaviors to prevent the onset of numerous diseases throughout life, including cancer, “he says. Patrizia Giallombardo, CT of the women’s synchronized swimming team. We are at the forefront as a testimonial of initiatives that promote physical well-being and movement in and out of the water. Practicing any type of physical activity is better than not doing it at all, and the advantages are all the greater the more you manage to prolong the habit of moving over time. Sport is discipline, commitment, determination, passion like that of the scientists who study every day to limit the mortality of these diseases ”. Concepts reaffirmed also by Carolyn Smith, choreographer and testimonial of the initiative: “As a patient I recognize the great importance of screening – she reiterates -, for this reason I am proud to represent ‘Frecciarosa’ during the month dedicated to breast cancer. The sports sessions, new this year, underline the importance of the movement for primary prevention: a theme that I completely embrace. Let’s move, let’s run, let’s dance but above all let’s check! ”.
How the campaign unfolds
October is the international month for breast cancer prevention and ‘Frecciarosa’ will bring oncology consultancy and visits with specialists throughout Italy, including the major islands, on board the High-speed, Intercity and Regional trains, in the FrecciaLounge of Rome Termini and Milano Centrale and also online through the platform www.frecciarosa.it. “On board the train – explains Bonifacino – the Vademecum will be distributed together with the offer of free visits, consultations and ultrasound scans and will be downloadable for free on the website www.incontradonna.iton the platform www.frecciarosa.it and on the sites of the partners of the initiative “.
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Bringing prevention to the territory
One of the objectives of the initiative is to get as close as possible to people by reaching them in the area. “Bringing the first ring of prevention on their territories to the community – explains Bonifacino – is of fundamental importance, stimulating them to adhere to regional screening as a model of public health, to contact the doctor of trust and reference by listening to their body and paying attention to familiarity with some pathologies. The presence of volunteers with specific training on board the train also has the purpose of promoting good practices, since they are mostly cancer patients, former patients and caregivers ”.
‘Let’s rekindle prevention’
Therefore, prevention returns to travel by train with a series of on-board initiatives that will connect the north and south of the country. “The claim chosen is ‘Let’s rekindle prevention’ and we will do it with a more widespread program throughout the Italian territory than in the last edition – he says Massimo Bruno, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group. We wanted to renew our support for the ‘Frecciarosa’ project which, year after year, has allowed thousands of people to receive information and medical examinations on correct lifestyles, improving the culture of prevention ”. He thinks so too Vito Cozzoli, president and managing director of Sport & Salute SpA: “The correct lifestyles play a role of fundamental importance in people’s lives, from childhood. Sport and Health, a state company, supports ‘Frecciarosa’ to promote sporting activity at all levels, with projects dedicated to the entire community throughout Italy. Promoting Sport means promoting physical well-being and consequently Health, our primary asset “.
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The role of institutions and the pharmaceutical industry
Frecciarosa also has the patronage of the Ministry of Health: “We are proud to support a project dedicated to a disease so widespread among women – she adds Giovanni Leonardi, general secretary of the Ministry of Health. Unfortunately, the pandemic has slowed down the prevention paths in recent years so we will have to work to recover lost screenings. We must educate in the culture of prevention, in all meeting places, including trains and stations ”. Naturally, the therapeutic innovations achieved thanks to scientific research also make it possible to increase survival. In Italy in total, 1.7 billion euros are spent per year, of which 700 million in clinical trials. “Today in the world – he underlines Marco Zibellini, at the head of the Technical-Scientific Department of Farmindustria – hundreds of drugs are being developed for diseases that affect exclusively or predominantly women, with a commitment to research that is increasingly growing also in gender issues. Our companies are at the forefront to spread the culture of prevention, starting with their collaborators. Leading companies in female employment that reaches 43% of employees (compared to the industry average of 29%) and rises to 51% in R&D. Women who often hold positions of responsibility: they are in fact 43% of executives and middle managers (55% among the under 35s): gender equality has been a reality in the pharmaceutical sector for years “.