Organizations, Academia and Private Companies Come Together to Promote the “Metastasis” Campaign in Costa Rica

    In order to generate greater awareness about patients with this disease

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    Patients with metastatic cancer live with a disease that will rarely be cured; However, thanks to the innovation of science and medicine, they now have the possibility of receiving new treatments that can slow the progression of their cancer, control the symptoms and even prolong their life for several more months or years. Once the metastasis can be treated, your situation may be similar to that of a person with a chronic disease, such as type 1 diabetes that is, leading an almost normal life for most of the process.

    Now, the needs to generate greater awareness about metastatic cancer – including updates on its treatment – and to solve certain challenges that these patients face on a personal level, access, care and economic burden, among others, gave rise to that several organizations, academia and private companies in the country join together to raise their voices for the benefit of these patients through the “Metastasis” campaign.

    Specifically, the initiative arose from the alliance between the Costa Rican Association of Medical Oncologists (ACOMED), the National Association Overcoming the Obstacles of Life (ANASOVI), the Metamorfosis Association, the Association of Hospital Pharmacists (ASOFAHO), the Research and Cancer Management (CIMCA), the College of Pharmacists of Costa Rica (COLFAR), the Center for Cancer and Hematology, the Herrera Amighetti Mental Health Center, the Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations of Patients of Costa Rica, FundaciónMujeres en Rosa, the Metropolitan Hospital, the Páez Laboratories, Onco Tech, the University of Medical Sciences (UCIMED), the University of Ibero-America (UNIBE), the Tour Rosa Association of Costa Rica (United Against Cancer) and Pfizer.

    Five-year relative survival indicators for certain types of cancer have improved by up to 20% – a figure that includes cases in all stages of the disease, including metastatic – during the last decades. As an action of hope for for these patients, the “Metastasis” campaign encompasses various awareness efforts in mass advertising media, both traditional and digital.

    Includes the Metastasis website various audiences of interest will be able to find information from what metastasis is, testimonials and the approach to these patients to the impact of academia and specialists in raising awareness of the disease, the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the management of cancer, the role of other health professionals and a link to the National Cancer Control Plan.

    According to Dr. José Pablo Molina, medical manager of Oncology at Pfizer Central America and the Caribbean (CAC), all cancer patients are important and therefore deserve the best. “Currently, the country is working on the development of the National Cancer Control Plan and this campaign unites the voices of different actors in the sector, to highlight the need for patients with metastatic cancer to receive a personalized, comprehensive, timely and equitable approach to their illness”.

    Delving deeper into metastatic cancer

    Cancer is a disease that occurs when cells multiply uncontrollably and spread to the tissues around them. Specifically, metastatic cancer occurs when the disease spreads to other organs or parts of the body from where it started. For example, breast cancer can spread to bones, lungs, brain and liver, while colorectal cancer can spread to the liver and lungs.

    Those living with metastatic cancer often go through several avenues for diagnosis and treatment, in addition to facing the uncertainty of the progression of their disease. In these cases, it is important to emphasize that the primary purpose of treatment is to preserve their quality of life, through comprehensive management of the chronic disease and, if necessary, supportive palliative care.

    It should be noted that the intensive systemic treatment of metastatic cancer has been evolving and increasingly, a personalized approach is contemplated, including the use of targeted therapies. However, to improve health outcomes, it is necessary to coordinate efforts of the various actors, in order to allow clinical care teams to offer these options to patients; that is, improve access on all roads.

    One of the most challenging health crises of our times

    “Currently, we are facing one of the most challenging health crises of our times and nothing is more urgent than seeking to overcome cancer; outsmart the disease itself. To achieve this, we must not only work on the development of innovative therapies or tools for diagnosis and treatment, but also on the creation of public-private alliances that provide the patient with the necessary support throughout the entire trajectory of their disease,” said. Dr. Molina.

    Coping with metastatic cancer involves recognizing feelings and concerns, learning to manage stress, as well as dealing with emotions and lifestyle changes. Therefore, it is important that the medical team is trained to provide comprehensive care, so that the patient finds an ally in them and knows how to deal with these situations.

    Without a doubt, a comprehensive approach and the use of advanced technology offer hope, delaying disease progression and improving the quality of life of patients with metastatic cancer.

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