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Cristina Garcia Vivar, professor at School Nursing and IdiSNA researcher.

Here's to them!

In Spain, survival for breast cancer has increased from 67.5% between 1985-1989 to 83.7% between 2010-2012.

Sat, 19 Oct 2019 12:36:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

Early detection of cancer, therapeutic and pharmacological advances and increased access to health services have influenced the global increase in cancer survival. The epidemiological data of project EUROCARE on survival in Europe evidences the change in the course of cancer from an acute terminal disease to a long-lasting chronic process.

In the case of breast cancer, overall survival 5 years after diagnosis is one of the highest in Europe. In Spain, survival for breast cancer has increased from 67.5% between 1985-1989 to 83.7% between 2010-2012. Specifically, the fees five-year net survival rates are 96.6% for patients with tumors diagnosed at stage I, 88.2% for stage II, 62.5% for stage III and 23.3% for stage IV, according to the study by Baeyens-Fernandez et al. (2018). Therefore, trends in survival in Spain and at the European level have evolved very favorably.

However, despite having clinically overcome the disease, many women may experience late effects such as chronic fatigue, pain, lymphedema, chemobrain (cognitive changes resulting from chemotherapy such as changes in report, attention, concentration and ability to perform various mental tasks), adverse cardiovascular events, musculoskeletal symptoms, accelerated bone loss and fractures, skin changes due to radiation, anxiety, depression, fear of recurrence, post-traumatic stress, altered interpersonal relationships, problems with sexuality and reproduction, changes in body image, emotional, social and occupational adaptation, and reproductive complications, among others (group Spanish Cancer Patients, GEPAC, 2018).

For this reason, and for them, we must continue to work to:

  • Develop care plans specifically designed for long-term breast cancer survivors that meet their physical, psychological, social, occupational and economic needs;

  • promote an integral approach centered on the person and the family, because we know that cancer is a family experience in which both the diagnosed person and his or her family members must learn to live with the disease;

  • promote the interdisciplinary and intersectoral work to offer the best possible care for cancer survivorship;

  • Improve coordination and continuity of care, from Specialized Care to Primary Health Care.

Por Ellas! challenge is to develop a strong and renewed professional leadership that supports the change of orientation from a Health Care System, as it is currently conceived, to a Health Care System, understood as a service delivery system whose structural and functional basis has as its axis the people and families living with cancer and beyond cancer.

In the meantime, let's enjoy this Saturday, October 19, the seventh edition of the massive CADENA 100 Solidarity Concert "Por Ellas".