The AECC requests another linear accelerator for Cáceres and a PEC-CT to diagnose tumors

Cáceres linear accelerator. / TODAY

Cancer incidence and mortality are higher in the province of Cáceres than in Badajoz


The Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) of Cáceres has claimed that a second linear accelerator be installed in the University Hospital of Cáceres (HUC) not as a replacement for the one that is already underway, but as one more technique, because another device is needed to avoid the waiting lists that are already beginning to be seen even though they are “small”.

This has been indicated by the provincial president of the AECC, Pedro Pastor, who has stressed the need for faster access to tests for early detection of different types of cancers and thus increase the possibility of cure.

The claim of the second linear accelerator is given because “it is a specialty with many techniques” that serves numerous patients with various pathologies, which is why this second device is necessary to serve the population of the province of Cáceres.

In addition, the AECC requests that the nuclear medicine service be provided with a PEC-CT, a “fundamental” element in the diagnosis of oncology and many other medical specialties.

Pastor recalled that Cáceres has a population of about 400,000 people throughout the province and you have to travel a long distance to Badajoz from some northern regions such as the Sierra de Gata, or the west such as the Guadalupe area, to undergo this diagnostic test imaging that detects clustered cells that have a high consumption of glucose.

“We believe that it is now time to complement this fundamental element of diagnosis for oncology in Cáceres”, Pastor has stressed, who on the other hand has also asked for greater responsibility and collaboration of the population in early detection screening because “of nothing would serve all this without a greater response from the population.

Colon cancer

In this case, the most common cancer in the general population is colon cancer, which could be tackled with early detection through screening. Breast cancer prevails in women and prostate cancer in men, and in all of them it is essential to diagnose them in the early stages of the disease.

Regarding data on prevalence, incidence and mortality due to cancer, the data are higher in the province of Cáceres than in Badajoz, something that may be due to an age group in which the population of Cáceres is older, since 25 % of the inhabitants of the province are over 70 years old and the frequency of cancer increases with age.

Therefore, although in global figures cancer cases in the province of Cáceres are lower due to the fact that it has a smaller population than in Badajoz, in incidence data they are above.

For example, Badajoz is approximately on the average for Spain with 617 new cases diagnosed in a year per 100,000 inhabitants, while Cáceres has a higher incidence, which amounts to 708 cases, mainly due to the aging of the population.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death, both in Spain and in Europe, only behind diseases of the circulatory system. In the year 2021, it is estimated that in Spain there will be more than 112,000 deaths due to cancer, while in Extremadura there will be about 3,000 people who will lose their lives due to this disease, 1,124 in the province of Cáceres, and 1,808 in that of Badajoz.

All these data have been released this Wednesday at the presentation of the V Extremadura Congress of People with Cancer and Family Members organized by the AECC and which, on this occasion, will delve into the existing inequity in the face of the disease. This congress will be held on December 1 and 2 in person and online in Cáceres and the participation of a hundred people is expected.

It is an appointment that is held every year in one of the two capitals of Extremadura and that last year could not be carried out due to the pandemic. The objective is to be a meeting point for dialogue between people who have undergone or are going through an oncological process, their environment and also with the professionals who care for them.

The appointment has been presented by the president of the AECC in Cáceres, Pedro Pastor, and the head of oncology at the Cáceres University Complex, Dr. Pablo Borrega.

Pastor explained that the meeting will bring together numerous oncology professionals to talk about the disease and how the pandemic has affected cancer patients. Professionals in psychology will speak of the “slavery of optimism” which is “a false myth,” said Pastor, who has stressed that practices that do not help to cope with the disease must be avoided.

There will also be an impact on the return to the world of work after overcoming the disease where the difficulties that patients have to face when returning to their job will be addressed, and it will be discussed at a table called ‘Cancer face to face’ in which they will be given the testimonies of a patient and of the volunteers who help the sick.

Palliative care

Equity in palliative care and the need for legislation at the national level will be another topic to be discussed at this congress in which it will be valued that Extremadura “is a reference in palliative care,” said Pastor, who recalled that the region is above other CCAA.

Finally, the congress will hold another table to analyze the difference between suffering from cancer in rural or urban areas, and how treatment is approached according to the origin of the patients. “We intend to eliminate inequities because cancer is the same for everyone, but we are not all in the same conditions against cancer,” said the president of the AECC.