On the eve of International Day against Breast Cancer, patients, doctors and health authorities met in the Spanish Parliament to analyse current opportunities and barriers when it comes to improving early detection.
There are two key statistics which convey the severity and impact of breast cancer: more than 6,500 women died from this disease in Spain in 2021, and it has been detected in more than 35,000 in 2023.
What positives can be drawn from this? It has been proven that mass screening using mammographs can reduce deaths caused by breast cancer by up to 20%.
With the aim of highlighting the importance of these programmes, the ‘National Forum for Best Practice in the Early Detection of Breast Cancer’ was celebrated on the 18th October in the Ernest Lluch room of the Spanish Parliament.
The event was chaired by Patricia Fernández de Lis, Editor-in-Chief of Science, Health and Technology at El País, and introduced by Pilar Aparicio, the ministry’s Public Health Director General. Aparicio, stressed the importance of avoiding complacency until our objective is achieved fully.
Experts that followed include MPs Ana Pastor and Carmen Andrés, Laura Ruiz, General Director of Public Health of Castilla-La Mancha, and Elena Andradas, General Director of Public Health of the Community of Madrid.
Emilia de Alonso, General Manager for Hologic Iberia, closed the forum by sharing the current leading scientific advances and technologies in the field of early detection.
An alliance geared towards progress
The Alliance for early detection of cancer in women led the event, under the direction of Begoña Barragán, GEPAC president, Dr José Luis Rodríguez Peralto, SEAP outgoing president and Dr Ana Santaballa, coordinator of the SEOM’s Prevention and Early Diagnosis branch.
It is a group formed with the goal of raising awareness and working towards placing women at the centre of public policy for the early detection. To that aim, they shared the following recommendations, that have also been presented to other leading health authorities at both national and regional level:
- Guarantee quality framework
- Leverage invested resources
- Widen participation
- Know the facts
- Learn from best practice
- Base decisions on scientific evidence
Covered by El País, the event allowed patient associations and scientific societies to come together in their shared defense of womens’ right to life-long effective healthcare.