One in eight women will be affected by breast cancer in her lifetime. “Pink October” makes it possible to focus on the prevention and the fight against this cancer, the first in women. Thanks to advances in treatments, the management of the life after is integrated into the strategies. The Toulouse-Oncopole Cancer University Institute is launching a web series and a consultation on this topic.
In this “pink” month of October, dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, it is important to remember that only 43.1% of women in Occitania participated in organized breast cancer screening over the period 2019- 2020. However, one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime (source Health Insurance).
Thanks to improvements in diagnosis, surgery, radiotherapy and better customization of treatments, there is better care in this cancer. “With the progress of diagnostic means, such as tomosynthesis, we are seeing cancers that were not detected before. On the surgical level, the number of total ablations has decreased, we are moving towards a dissection of only one or two sentinel lymph nodes and the aesthetic sequelae are reduced. Radiotherapy now makes it possible to irradiate smaller areas to better target tumors and less affect the surrounding organs. Finally, treatments are more and more personalized, even if we always want some! ”, Summarizes Prof. Florence Dalenc, oncologist, head of the senology committee at the Toulouse-Oncopole Cancer University Institute (IUCT-O) who receives 1,000 to 1,200 new patients each year. The “therapeutic de-escalation” is also topical thanks to a better identification of the disease by the genomic signature.
Because quality of life is at the heart of strategies today. During the treatments but also after. This is the meaning of the campaign launched by the Oncopole teams through an unprecedented web series. In four episodes available on the IUCT-O Youtube channel, “Le chemin d’Emilie” tackled with relevance, humor and sensitivity the period that begins after the end of the treatments. The message is addressed to patients and their entourage to fight against received ideas. The web series announces the opening, at the beginning of November, of a consultation dedicated to “post-cancer”.
“Not sick but not completely cured”
“This consultation will make it possible to deliver a schedule of monitoring methods to patients and assess their needs in supportive care and in their return to daily life. The doctor will initiate a consultation with a nurse specializing in the care pathway in senology. They can then be directed towards associations and therapeutic education workshops. All of this was done orally and informally. This is a request from patients who say they quickly feel alone after stopping treatment; their life is not quite as it was before and there is the fear of relapse. They are no longer sick but they are not completely healed and those around them sometimes have trouble perceiving it, ”underlines Professor Florence Dalenc. The oncologist also hopes that this follow-up afterwards will “re-establish the truth about everything that patients can read on the Internet, especially on the nutritional side.” Some people stop eating sugar, others consume cow’s milk, and still others start the ketogenic diet… We must help them sort it out ”.