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World Cancer Day

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Il February 4th if you celebrate the World Cancer Day, World Cancer Day, promoted by UICC – Union for International Cancer Control – and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Now in its twenty-third edition, the day represents an important call to reflect on what institutions and individuals can do together to fight cancer.

Close the Care Gap – Everyone deserves access to cancer care” (Bridging the care gap – Everyone deserves access to cancer treatment) is the theme of the 2022-2024 campaign. The slogan calls attention to the importance of understanding and recognizing inequalities in cancer care around the world.

“Cancer is a preventable and curable pathology. We are preparing initiatives to enhance the promotion of cancer screening and at the same time encourage correct lifestyles to reduce risk factors. Prevention is essential and for this we want to spread a strong message of promotion of health to the entire population and in particular to young people, starting from elementary schools” declared the Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci.

Cancer numbers

In the world

Cancer is a constant disease growth all over the world.

L’ World Health Organization (WHO) confirms that cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world.

The infographics of World Cancer Day estimate that 10 million people died of cancer in 2020.

In Italy

The report “The numbers of cancer in Italy 2022” estimate that in 2022 in Italy, they will be 390,700 new diagnoses of all cancers (205,000 in men and 185,700 in women). They were 376,600 (194,700 in men and 181,900 in women) in 2020.

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The Report highlights that i more frequent tumoursin descending order of estimated incidence in the overall population, are:

  • breast cancer (55,700 new cases, an increase of 0.5% compared to 2020)

  • colorectal cancer (48,100 new cases, +1.5% in men and +1.6% in women)

  • lung cancer (43,900 new cases, +1.6% in men and +3.6% in women)

  • prostate cancer (40,500 new cases, +1.5%)

  • bladder cancer (29,200 new cases, +1.7% in men and +1.0% in women).

Cancer and prevention: preventable risk factors, avoidable deaths

The fight against neoplastic pathologies requires a multi-disciplinary approach and requires coordinated and synergistic interventions on several levels, from prevention to improvement of the overall process of taking charge of the oncological patient.

In this perspective, both the European plan against cancer presented in February 2021 both the National prevention plan 2020-2025 (PNP) highlight the importance of prevention and early diagnosis alongside treatment and improvement of the patient’s quality of life.

Il Aiom-Airtum 2022 report indicates that about the 40% of new cancer cases and 50% of cancer deaths I am potentially preventable as caused by avoidable risk factors, estimates in line with WHO data which indicate between 30-50% the possibility of prevention of all cancer cases.

The main modifiable risk factors are smoking, poor diet, risky and harmful consumption of alcohol, lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle.

What to do to reduce risk factors: nine simple rules to follow

Here are some rules based on scientific evidence that can reduce the risk factors for developing some forms of cancer.

  • Not smoking. Do not consume any form of tobacco. Make your home smoke free.

  • Adopt a healthy and balanced diet

  • Remember that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of cancer

  • Get your children vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis B

  • Avoid excessive sun exposure and use sunscreens

  • Strictly follow the instructions on health and safety in the workplace to protect yourself from exposure to carcinogens

  • Practice physical activity regularly

  • Limit your alcohol consumption

  • Join cancer screening programs

To know more: WHO infographic

The National Oncology Plan and SSN screenings

Approved in the State – Regions Conference the planning and address document for the prevention and fight against cancer 2023-2027. The document is aimed at improving the overall process of combating neoplastic pathologies in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness, empowerment and satisfaction of patients, and at containing the health and social costs determined by them. Developed according to a global and cross-sectoral approach, with greater integration between prevention, early diagnosis and managementincluding the improvement of care and the prevention of recurrences, the Plan focuses on the centrality of the patient and on the reduction or elimination of inequalities in access to prevention and treatment interventions. The document was drawn up by an inter-institutional working table coordinated by Office 8 of the General Directorate of Health Prevention of the Ministry of Health which saw the involvement of the main stakeholders in the oncology field and primary care, as well as a broad representation of patient and citizen associations.

The programs of screening organized oncology reduce cancer mortality because through an early diagnosis they allow timely intervention. In Italy, throughout the country, the following are offered with an active call from the healthcare company to the population groups most at risk:

  • cervical screening (PAP test or HPV test) for the prevention of cervical cancer;

  • lo screening mammografico for the early diagnosis of breast cancer;

  • lo screening colorettale for the prevention of colorectal cancer.

Cancer screening programs are a Essential Level of Assistance. Adhering to the screenings means entering an integrated diagnostic-therapeutic path, totally free, which accompanies the person from the performance of the screening test to any further investigations and, if necessary, to subsequent treatment and follow-up treatments.

To know more

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