Eight basic proposals for full coverage of breast cancer patients are being presented by Alma-Zeuss and Medical Scientific Societies.
About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are caused by mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are inherited lesions. The corresponding percentage for ovarian cancer is 25%.
On the other hand, environmental interventions and lifestyle changes can help reduce cancer mortality by up to 50%. Food hazards in particular are responsible for around 15% of all deaths in Greece.
For this reason, the breast cancer societies “Alma-Zois” and the scientific societies EXEM, EOPE and EEAM, on the occasion of the month of October, designated Breast Cancer Information and Awareness Month, wrote a letter to the Ministry of Health , review what has been done to treat and manage breast cancer in Greece over the past year, while highlighting all that still needs to be done to improve the quality of life of patients and survivors and reduce mortality. From the disease.
The letter points to the need to accelerate the establishment of a cancer registry, encompass testing for gene mutations that cause cancer, as well as implement primary and secondary prevention of the disease.
Especially with regard to secondary prevention and the National Population Screening Program “fat births”, with the aim of benefiting as many women as possible, it is recommended that:
- The program must be framed and supported by a corresponding information and awareness campaign with the aim of highlighting the importance of secondary prevention and early diagnosis of the disease, the benefit of women’s participation in the program, as well as the importance of the registry created through design and implement a documented and targeted action plan against breast cancer.
- To invite relevant scientific companies to the necessary increase in the number of diagnostic centers, collaborating physicians, issuing radiological diagnosis certificates and collaborating centers participating in the program, in accordance with international guidelines.
- In case of a suspicious result, the consultation with the doctor of the program must be made within 15 days and, if the result is confirmed, it must be possible to access the general structure for new exams within 30 days.
- Scientific companies EXHEM and EOPE conduct training/seminars for general practitioners or pathologists who have applied to participate in the program and who are located in or in remote areas that are not adequately covered by breast health professionals for clinical examination.
- Link the program registry to the breast cancer patient registry to extract documentary information and disease incidence and mortality trends.
- Expand the program to women aged 45 to 74, in line with revised European Commission recommendations.
Overall, regarding high-quality services for early detection, diagnosis, treatment and registration of breast cancer cases among the population of the country, the letter highlights the following:
- To speed up the procedure for establishing the Registry of Patients with Breast Cancer, it is suggested that all relevant scientific societies collaborate with the IDIKA, providing a minimum amount of registration data from the electronic file of patients with breast cancer maintained by them. Members, in the context of ensuring the protection of sensitive personal data.
- For the primary prevention of breast cancer, in order to establish a national information campaign, the cancer awareness campaign created by EOPE entitled: “World Cancer Day Campaign” must be adopted.
- In order to improve the treatment of women belonging to high risk groups, it is suggested that the inclusion of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes be immediately completed in the electronic prescription and in the list of reimbursed biomarkers, so that they can benefit from a personalized treatment as well as measure to encompass the examination of first-degree relatives of patients, with the aim of early diagnosis of genetic mutations that lead to high rates of breast and ovarian cancer.
- At all stages of treatment, the need to accelerate the implementation of integrated breast care centers is highlighted, which play a crucial role in the correct treatment and management of the disease and its consequences, eliminating the difficulties of access and existing disparities. Disease – from diagnosis to life after completion of treatment (survival).
- It is proposed to institutionalize the interconnection of breast centers and clinics with voluntary patient support associations
- In order to enhance the access of patients with advanced/metastatic disease to new treatments, it is proposed to collaborate with other countries in their evaluation with the aim of obtaining the shortest marketing authorization in Greece, the integration of EOPE therapeutic protocols, namely: renewal annually and include all established and new therapeutic approaches and their relationship to the National Health Insurance Fund, timely approval of high-cost drugs, and improved SIP so that women have immediate access to approved innovative treatments.
- Finally, a legislative framework was proposed for the provision of palliative care services to patients with life-threatening illnesses.