AIRTUM in collaboration with AIOM publishes “CANCER NUMBERS IN ITALY 2016”
Prevention, early diagnosis, research and innovative therapies. Thanks to these arms, tumors today are less and less fearful. The sixth edition of the volume “The numbers of cancer in Italy” highlights the quality of our helpful system: the survival in our Country is aligned with the European average and for many types of tumor is superior. Even the comparison with North Europe Countries, where the highest values are documented, offers encouraging information about the global effectiveness of our healthcare system in its preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic components. What was once considered an “incurable disease” has become, in a great amount of cases, a pathology from which it is possible to heal or it is possible to live with:as a matter of fact, it is becoming increasingly a chronic disease that allows affected people to have an active and satisfying life. Over the past few decades, it has been registered, in Italy, a steady increase of prevalence of patients with a cancer history: they were 2 million and 244 thousand in 2006, and they increased to over 3 million in 2016. In 2020 there will be 4 million and half. The Institutions and clinicians must be able to meet the needs of these patients who heal or can live with the disease and who claim the right to go back to a “normal” life.This valuable volume presents every year the epidemiological data that represent a true pictureof the Italian Oncology condition, which is important because numbers reveal the aspects that have to be improved and what measures are already offering encouraging results. The trend is clear: new cases decrease among men, but increase among women. It is concerning, in particular, the increase of lung tumor diagnosis among Italian women (13.500 in 2016), to lead back to the spread of tobacco smoke among the young as well. It is necessary to promote awareness campaigns because the 40% of tumor cases can be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle and, besides, prevention can produce savings and free resources that may be targeted to the promotion of research projects and the availability of new therapies. The employment of this volume may make easier and incisive the improvement of action of performance and services level. Translational and clinical research, humanization, doctor-patient relationship, information and prevention are some of the key wordsto know and to implement for who has responsibility tasks towards citizens affected by a tumor. In the fight against cancer is fundamental to set a multidisciplinary and integrated approach for therapeutic proposal. It is also fundamental to develop and ensure an adequate assistance on the territory, near the domicile, achieving a global take on responsibility of the person in his/her health, social and relational needs through the integration of the various institutional and non-institutional actors, the families and the associations with their great ability of “taking care”. A strategic role is conducted by volunteering, a very important resource. In particular, what is occurring in oncologic field is characterized by a much-extended reality of organizations and networks, often animated by different generations, who meet and promote social bonds. These bonds combine in a culture of solidarity and support to weaker categories, sharing with patients and relatives an often complicated path, but which may become a source of individual and collective growth. In thanking AIOM and AIRTUM for their profound commitment, I hope this work has a vast and widespread diffusion and that contributes in a significant way to the improvement of health state of Italian citizens.
Minister of Health