Parc Taulí raises awareness about breast cancer and gynecological cancers

Parc Taulí raises awareness about breast cancer and gynecological cancers 1080 608 Oriol Capell
  • Breast cancer is currently the most common tumor among women in our country, affecting one in eight
  • World Breast Cancer Day speaker is an opportunity to raise awareness and join forces with other women's cancers that don't get as much visibility

Like every October since Evelyn Lauder popularized it more than three decades ago, the pink ribbon is once again adorning lapels, balconies and social networks around the world. Behind this global symbol of solidarity and awareness about breast cancer, we find the fight against a disease that already affects one in eight women[1].

And it is that breast cancer is currently the most common tumor among women in our country[2]. According to the latest data collected by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), it is estimated that 2023 new cases will be diagnosed this 35.000. This type of tumor usually appears between the ages of 35 and 80, although the range from 45 to 65 is the one with the highest incidence, being the time when hormonal changes occur in the peri- and post-menopausal periods.

The incidence of breast cancer has experienced continuous growth in recent years as a result of factors such as population growth, increased life expectancy and early detection[3]. It is precisely the latter that is the fundamental pillar in the fight against pathology. An early detection gives the possibility to intervene effectively, significantly increasing the probabilities of successful treatment and the patient's survival.

To Amaya Martin, researcher of the Innovation in Neuro-oncology group of the I3PT and head of the Breast and Gynecological Radiology Unit of Parc Taulí, an important advance in the technology of breast cancer diagnosis has been the appearance of the tomosynthesis.

"It consists of a 3D mammography with which we are able to detect cancers that we do not see in conventional mammography and therefore we can diagnose them in earlier stages". This new technique has reduced the number of recitations and supplementary tests, a fact that generated a lot of anxiety for the patients.

The breast cancer screening program, in force in our country since 1990, has also shown a decrease in mortality among women who participate[4]. All women who are not at high risk are encouraged to have a mammogram every two years from age 50 to 69. Although, for Martin, one of the main current challenges in diagnosis would be to do a more individualized screening. "Current may work and be beneficial for some women, but others may need to be screened more frequently, for example annually or every three years, or with a more sensitive technique than conventional mammography such as tomosynthesis or magnetic resonance imaging. too it would be important to start screening at an earlier age, at 40 or 45, when the incidence of breast cancer has already been increasing".

More than a disease: the impact of breast cancer

But behind every diagnosis there is a life affected by the disease, a family that suffers and a woman who not only fights against cancer, but also against stigma, self-acceptance, anxiety or depression.

"In breast cancer, it is not just the disease that is treated. We try to ensure that our patients have a good quality of life and this requires taking care of their mental and emotional health", explains Elsa Dalmau, oncologist and head of the Biomedical Cancer Research group at the I3PT

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to achieve. "The lack of resources at our disposal makes it difficult to treat all patients or their relatives, especially when they have small children, from the beginning”, underlines Dalmau. In this sense, as he points out, "is vitally important the support and accompaniment from the Psycho-oncology area, present for years at Parc Taulí, as well as non-profit associations that work to provide human and material resources that cover many of the needs required by these patients and their families".

Gynecological cancers: realities that deserve to be heard

Breast cancer, however, is not the only thing that exclusively affects women. Gynecological cancers such as the cervix, ovary, uterus, vagina or vulva, despite being among the most diagnosed, they do not tend to have the same echo as other types of tumors.

This lack of visibility can lead to late diagnoses and less effective treatments, thus worsening the patient's prognosis and likelihood of survival.

To Sandra Medina, researcher in the Biomedical Cancer Research group at the I3PT and in the Gynecology and Obstetrics service at Parc Taulí, it is necessary to gain greater knowledge. "In the case of cervical cancer, women need to be made aware so that they carry out gynecological checks and cervical-vaginal cytology from the age of 25 to 65 every 3 years. The rest of the gynecological cancers do not have an effective screening method and therefore women should know to consult a specialist if they have any warning symptoms such as menopausal bleeding, abdominal pain or the appearance of vulvar lesions".

The World Breast Cancer Day speaker is an opportunity to raise awareness and join forces with other less visible female cancers, uniting struggles and recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to women's health in order to ensure quality care whatever the illness.

"It is essential to raise awareness among all women that it is very important to follow healthy lifestyles, go for screening mammograms and check the appearance of any suspicious symptoms", concludes Medina.




  • [1]
  • [2] Cancer figures in Spain in 2023. SEOM.
  • [3]
  • [4]

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