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Fight against tumours, still too many differences between the regions – Healthcare

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Fight against tumours, still too many differences between the regions – Healthcare

There are still too many differences between regions in Italy lotta ai tumors, with the South ‘lidging’ above all in relation to low adherence to cancer screening. On the eve of World Cancer Day, which is celebrated on February 4, the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (Aiom) takes a picture of assistance in our country, while the Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci announces measures in favor of prevention already starting from the school desks and underlines the need to guarantee a “360 degree” care of all patients, who in Italy exceed 3.6 million.

“In 2021 – says Francesco Perrone, president-elect Aiom, on the occasion of the conference ‘Close the Care Gap’, or ‘Bridge the gap of care’, in the Senate – a return to pre-pandemic data was observed with regard to coverage of secondary prevention programmes. But that is not enough, because there are still too many regional differences. In particular, in 2021, mammography coverage values ​​in the North reached 63% compared to 23% in the South. occult blood in the stool) the figure is 45% compared to 10%. In cervical screening, 41% of the Northern Regions is counterbalanced by 22% of the Southern ones”.

The North-South divide it was already evident before the pandemic, but many southern regions, he warns, “have not yet managed to make up for the delays accumulated during the health emergency. An extraordinary effort is needed to improve membership levels in these areas”. And precisely to bridge the territorial gap, Aiom has announced the forthcoming launch of a major awareness campaign aimed at the Southern Regions, with commercials, brochures and initiatives. However, the socio-economic factor also weighs: compared to 18 million new cases and 10 million deaths every year worldwide from cancer, 32% of cancer deaths in Europe are associated with poverty and low education.

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These disparities are less evident in countries with universal healthcare systems such as ours, capable of guaranteeing treatment for all. However, Italy suffers from a strong inequality on the territory and at the same time, the oncologists denounce, also an excess of bureaucracy: 50% of the time of each oncological visit is absorbed by bureaucratic obligations and for this reason the specialists ask to hire more personal. But the real turning point is represented by prevention. In 2022, in Italy, says the president of Aiom Saverio Cinieri, “there were an estimated 390,700 new cases of cancer. However, 40% can be avoided by acting on risk factors. In particular, smoking is the main risk factor, associated with ‘onset of about one in three cancers and as many as 17 types of cancer’.

Prevention it is the trump card also according to the president of the Higher Institute of Health, Silvio Brusaferro, and Minister Schillaci. Cancer, Schillaci said, “is potentially the most preventable chronic disease and today also the most curable. Intervening on the main risk factors, such as smoking, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, is in fact the most efficient long-term health promotion strategy : we can avoid 50% of cancer deaths”. For this reason, he announced, “we are preparing initiatives aimed at promoting the culture of prevention starting from elementary schools, to encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles. And with the same intention we are defining an update of the legislation on smoking”. (HANDLE).

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