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fight against cancer

Reducing the incidence of potentially preventable malignancies, improving the survival and quality of life of patients and supporting survivors, without forgetting caregivers, are the main objectives of the National Strategy to Fight Cancer for 2021-2030, which will be under consultation public for a period of 21 working days.

The document was produced by the Directorate-General for Health, through the National Program for Oncological Diseases, and is in line with the European Plan to Fight Cancer, having received contributions from various bodies.

This proposal, which places the citizen at the centre, achieves specific objectives based on four pillars of strategic action: the Prevention Pillar, the Early Detection Pillar, the Diagnosis and Treatment Pillar and the Survivors Pillar.

In terms of prevention, the aim is, among other things, to mitigate the risk of exposure to tobacco or alcohol and to promote healthier lifestyles.

As for early detection, in addition to strengthening existing screenings, impact studies, campaigns and the evaluation of new screening programs are planned, as well as a special look at hereditary cancer.

In terms of diagnosis and treatment, it is expected that responses will be improved through an oncology referral network, with certified units and performance metrics in the diagnosis and staging of cancers with higher mortality, without forgetting the reinforcement of research, particularly in clinical trials.

Finally, in the survivors pillar, it is intended to implement measures that protect patients and survivors, investing in the quality of care, equity in access and research.

Oncological diseases represent, in Portugal, the second cause of mortality and the main cause of years of life potentially lost, adjusted for morbidity. Cancer thus asserts itself as one of the main priorities for the coming years, in Portugal and in the European Union.

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