Saturday , January 16 2021

Breast cancer, not just new treatments for the disease

Despite significant progress (87 percent of patients living 5 years after diagnosis), breast cancer remains the leading cause of death among neoplasms among Italians. Annually in Italy more than 52 thousand women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 5 thousand of them have metastatic cancer: their average survival is less than three years. A completely different perspective compared to the majority of patients with this tumor, found at the initial stage, for which more and more people are talking about healing. In order not to forget the needs and priorities of women with metastatic breast cancer, experts from the European Working Group (EWG) developed a document presented in Milan, which consists of a set of recommendations for Italian and European politicians.

About 10 women aged 100 years have metastases from the beginning.

Similarly, metastatic patients launched a flash mob in October 2018 to draw attention to their particular situation and their needs, which are often at risk of being neglected due to too much optimism and the many successes that dot the history of breast cancer. In recent days, at the annual congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (Esmo), important news about the treatment of this neoplasm was presented at the very last stages: immunotherapy and new drugs, which reveal important glimpses against the most aggressive forms. The percentage of women who have recovered from breast cancer continues to grow, ”explains Laura Biganzoli, president of Eusoma (European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists) and director of the Center for Senology at Prato Hospital, an Italian member of the EWG, but not we can only focus on undoubted success and to lose sight of the fact that 20–30 percent of women who are metastatic due to relapse, and that 5–10% of patients receive a diagnosis of metastatic cancer right from the start. The path of these patients is very heterogeneous, not only in the characteristics of the disease (so variable between the same case), but also in the presence of regional differences in the organization and financing of treatment. In addition, treating a patient with a more complex metastatic disease than non-metastatic patients.

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Breast cancer, a powerful new weapon against metastases
The most common data on tumors
Effective and adequate therapy with great attention to the quality of life

The purpose of the document (implemented with Lilly's unlicensed contribution) is to draw the attention of the population and politicians to the needs of patients, to give these women the tools to understand therapeutic decisions and to provide them and caregivers, who are often the closest family members, with real protection. Metastatic breast cancer affects not only the woman, but also her entire family, it is important to provide support to all people involved in the treatment, continues Bigzanzoli. It is very important to pay attention to them, because in addition to better care, they have the right to high-quality social and working life, despite the difficulties associated with treatment and frequent check-ups in the hospital. Patients with metastatic breast cancer should be able to live a normal life as long as possible, and we hope that this road map Politics, highlighting their needs, is a turning point for raising public awareness of this too often forgotten topic. In short, it is necessary to evaluate not only months or years of life to a greater extent than treatment can guarantee, but above all, survival without the progression of the disease (that is, the period between the end of treatment and the recovery of the tumor) and a good quality of life, all this can be achieved, according to EWG experts, even with greater adherence to treatment guidelines, still very variable from center to center and not optimal.

Innovative treatments are available for all Italian patients.

The document, in addition to raising awareness of patients and decision makers so that it can finally increase the attention paid to these women, aims to create an alliance between doctors, patients and pharmaceutical companies to ensure that news from clinical research and pharmacology can to be provided as soon as possible to all patients anywhere in the country, ”adds Giuseppe Curigliano, co-director of the New Drugs Program of the Department of Oncology and Epidemiology of Oncology of the University of Milan Committee at the European Institute of Oncology. The rapid transition from research to clinical practice and the wider dissemination of innovations in therapy attributable to trials will improve the control of metastatic breast cancer and the quality of life of patients. In the centers of excellence, therapeutic innovations are immediately available to all patients, whose goal is to introduce these virtuous ways of treatment everywhere, even investing more in ongoing oncology education. From our national survey on this type of patient, it turned out that their basic needs are recognition of their status and support, ”concludes Europa Donna Italia President Rosanna Anton,“ for this we used some politicians on the way to get an institution October 13, as in the United States, the National Day dedicated to metastatic breast cancer. This work with some of the most sensitive parliamentarians led to two proposals of the law submitted to the Senate and the Chamber, which also contain national guidelines governing the clinical and therapeutic path of these patients, facilitated and uniform access to innovative treatment methods and the creation of a National Observatory on metastatic cancer mammary gland to implement their knowledge and study of casuistry. The recommendations presented in the European document presented today confirm that we are on the right track, as for all European countries.

November 20, 2018 (Amended November 20, 2018, 2:27 pm)


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