The colorectal cancer early detection programme, which was launched in December 2022, had detected ten cases as of November. This is clear from the data provided by the Ministry of Health, which also shows that a total of 10,720 people have been invited up to this month to participate in this screening and detection programme, which has been implemented from the moment, in the parishes of Canillo, Encamp, Ordino and part of Massana.
Thus, since the beginning of the program, approximately 11,000 letters have been sent to people aged 50 to 74 years, of which 24.43% (2,619) went to the primary care center to collect materials needed to take a stool sample and participate in testing. program. Of these, the majority of them, 2,227, received a negative result in the test for detecting occult blood in the stool, and 144 were positive, as 114 colonoscopies have been performed so far, during which the ten cancers mentioned in the colon and rectum were detected. It should also be noted that at the end of the day on November 25, colonoscopies were on hold and five more had been eliminated.
The colorectal cancer early detection program targets all men and women residing in the emirate between the ages of 50 and 74 who are at average risk, and consists of testing every two years to detect whether or not the stool contains small amounts of blood. Invisible to the naked eye. It should be noted that this program has begun in the nationalities of Canelo, Encamp, Ordino and La Massana, and is expected to reach the rest of the nationalities during 2024.
The screening test consists of detecting occult blood in the stool. People wishing to participate (and who have been invited by letter from the Ministry of Health) must go to the primary care center to obtain the necessary material to take a stool sample, collect the sample at home, and return it to the center to be examined. Analyzed. If the result of this test is negative (no blood signs), the program invites the person back after two years to be retested (as long as they remain within the age limits of 50 to 74). It should be noted in this regard that if a person is 73 years old, Health sends him the negative result by letter and informs him that he will no longer be invited to participate due to the age issue, and therefore from the age after 75 years, you will have to follow the recommendations of your doctor. If the result of a fecal occult blood test is positive, this indicates evidence of blood in the stool, so the hospital's screening unit will call the person and schedule an appointment for a diagnostic test, which is a colonoscopy. After this test, if the person is not detected or diagnosed with any relevant infections, they will be invited to participate in the program again.
If lesions that need to be controlled, inflammatory bowel disease or cancer are detected during a colonoscopy, affected people have a follow-up cycle outside the screening programme, carried out by their specialist or the referring doctor.
“Expand them a little.”
The President of the Andorran Anti-Cancer Association (Assandca), Josep Saravia, evaluated the bidding process positively. But he believes that Salot “should try to expand it a little.” It is believed that prostate cancer can also be prevented “through a blood test.” This will be a first step for those who want to continue testing.
A small embryo of the Kalida Center in the Asandka local area of the capital
He has been talking about it for some time and it is one of the few topics on which the president of the Andorra Cancer Association (Assandca), Josep Saravia, and former Minister of Health Joan Martinez Benazette have agreed: the need to create “a kind of Calida center for cancer patients receiving treatment in the country or in the outside”. At this point, Saravia remembers what she's talking about. Well, from the initiative of a fairly recently created private Catalan foundation: Calida Sant Pau, a completely open and free space for all people affected by cancer. Whether they are patients, relatives or caregivers of someone with cancer. It is located on the grounds of the Saint Pau Hospital itself and can be accessed by anyone at any time, without a prior appointment or medical referral. It wants to be, its promoters explain, a welcoming place where you can get comprehensive oncology support from a large team of specialists.
Saravia has long imagined that there is an urgent need for such a resource, close to the Hospital Nuestra Señora de Meritexel, where podiatry services and assistance will be provided, as well as medical and psychological support, for example legal and social education specialists every 15 years. days or once a month. “It is not easy to set it up because the atmosphere has to be quiet and calm,” he admits. And also, of course, because money is necessary to get ahead. Without going any further, this incident in Saint Pau cost seven million euros. “Now, here we won't need much.”
The President of Assandca believes that SAAS health professionals are involved in this project. In fact, SAAS Director, Meritxel Kosan, explained to Buendia that once outpatient mental health consultations leave the hospital, they would like to transform the spaces and thinking about the care provided to oncology patients, they would like to make some kind of shared rooms so that those receiving chemotherapy, if they wish, can This is done in the company of other patients, with the intention that they can chat about what is happening to them. A question Saravia explains this way. Cancer patients find it difficult to share what is happening to them, how they are, and how they feel with their families; Instead, they open up to each other, and to other people who are going through the same thing.
As long as this does not reach the country, Asandka does not give up and offers patients a small room in the building that she opened last October on Zanarit Street in the capital so that they can receive podiatry services and relaxation activities such as Reiki or yoga. It is a first step, a small embryo, for a project. It was adapted to the emirate.
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