Now the Andorra Cancer Association (Assandca) can say that the data on cancer cases detected last year was published by the Ministry of Health on the occasion of World Cancer Day “Atansin” which is what they expected. It fits almost perfectly with what its president, Josep Saravia, has said in recent years that there will be about 400 new cases of cancer in Andorra every year. As it was said, it was. Specifically, as Salut reported last Friday, up to 406 people will be discovered to have cancer in 2023 through SAAS histopathology diagnoses. Among all types, the most frequent tumors were colon (80), prostate (78), and breast (65).
According to Josep Saravia, since these figures only include those detected at hospital level, this means that “there are still more”, which shows that cancer is increasing every day and that this “fully justifies the fact of placing a radiotherapy unit in the country”. That is why, the president of Asandka recalls again, with some bewilderment, that in the first meeting he had with the then Minister of Health, Juan Martínez Benazette, they were told that there were not even 100 new cases in the year.
Asandka is currently waiting to meet with the government to present the National Oncology Plan, one of the priority lines identified by Health Minister Helena Maas for this legislature. When they talk about it, Saravia will demand the radiotherapy unit again because “there are so many cases we cannot ignore them.” In addition, he insists on asking for an explanation as to why he does not want to do so and whether there is an economic or other problem in the background to maintain this position at the moment.
He believes that it is no longer possible to use the technical question as an argument to ignore unity. In this sense, as Bondia came forward a few weeks ago, Saravia electronically met with the Head of the Radiation Oncology Service of the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Ferran Guedea, to learn first-hand about the Radiotherapy Unit of the Terres de Terres de l'Ebre, which operates For more than 15 years using a state-of-the-art linear accelerator, which was renovated in 2021, it has been working on its “remote” management which allows the treatment of most types of cancer. It is a unit of the Sant Joan de Ríos University Hospital and has the same accelerator and allows the exchange of technology and patients between the two “twin” machines. He explains that in Mallorca we can see that they also have a double unit system, and that they have fast sea medical transport that reaches Barcelona in 40 minutes.
The ICO, which already cooperates with the Andorran Ministry of Health, is open to “help” with everything necessary in the principality, such as searching for technicians. As they told Asandka's president, “There should be no problem in establishing a radiotherapy unit here in the country and they are ready to do whatever it takes.”
“Personal opportunity cost”
Saravia announced that the Catalan Institute of Oncology has confirmed that “sending people to Barcelona is not the best for patients.” the reason? He believes that “travel involves very high personal costs for patients.” He adds that this distinction in treatment is lost due to movement.
For the head of Assandca, what the ICO head says is of great value because of his experience and expertise. Above all because they treat 1,300,000 patients. This is how he plans to defend it before the Minister of Health, even though he is well aware that he will have to continue grinding stones.
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