Catalonia Joins the Fight Against Colon and Rectal Cancer

On the occasion of Colon and Rectal Cancer (CRC) Prevention Day, held on 31 March throughout Spain, Hospital del Mar and Hospital Clínic de Barcelona jointly organized the Conference on Prevention of CRC in Catalonia, which took place at Hospital Clínic on the same day, with the presence of different people from many scientific, political and social organizations.

This conference joins the national campaign organized by the Alliance for the Prevention of Colorectal Cancer, an initiative that arose due to the increasing incidence of this type of cancer and the need to raise awareness among the public, medical professionals and health care authorities in the different autonomous regions regarding the need to take steps to prevent these cancers.

The conference, which was jointly organized with the Spanish Cancer Association, was jointly led by Dr. Antoni Castells and Dr. Montserrat Andreu, both heads of the respective gastroenterology departments at Hospital Clínic and Hospital del Mar and coordinators of the Alliance to prevent this type of cancer in Spain and Catalonia. The inaugural ceremony was attended by Dr. Raimon Belenes, CEO of Hospital Clínic; Dr. María Luisa de la Puente, Director General of Planning of the Department of Health; and Dr. Xavier Castells, Medical Director of Hospital del Mar. Also present was Ms. Pepita Farré, Director of the Associació Catalana d’Ostomitzats (Catalan Association of Ostomy Patients), which contributed the perspective of patients who have suffered from this disease.

Colorectal cancer is the second biggest cause of death due to cancer in Catalonia among both men and women, after lung and breast cancer, respectively. A total of 4500 new cases are diagnosed each year and almost 2000 people die each year from this type of tumor. These data are the result of late-stage diagnosis of the disease, as there is little knowledge regarding early diagnosis; in fact, if the cancer is detected at an early stage, it can be cured in 90% of cases. An information campaign is therefore necessary to explain the relevance of this tumor and the possibility of detecting it at an early stage.