Home Back New search Date Min Max Aeronautics Automotive Corporate Cybersecurity Defense and Security Financial Healthcare Industry Intelligent Transportation Systems Digital Public Services Services Space Blog Healthcare Research and technology go hand in hand - our lives depend on it 24/01/2022 Print Share Most people assume that good health is intrinsic to life. Especially when we are young, when we often challenge it with overindulgences, or do not take care of it. Only those who have suffered with illnesses from an early age, and all of us with the ‘aches and pains’ that come along with age, value it as the most important thing we have in our lives. As some specialists explain, personal wellbeing is based on three pillars: a good caring/family environment, good health, and having sufficient economic stability to meet needs. If we miss out on one of these factors, maintaining balance becomes difficult. When referring to health, we consider both physical and emotional health, given the fact that on many occasions the deterioration of the former leads to the deterioration of the latter. Effort is required to cope with any type of illness, and even more so with chronic or serious conditions. For chronic conditions, a wise approach is to consider the illness as if it were a long-distance race in which fears and moments of weakness will inevitably follow one another, because it will be a lifelong condition. For serious conditions, in the words of a specialist in the field, who overcame thyroid cancer, the renowned Dr. Pedro Lara, there is no room for defeat, because “equating cancer with death is not a direct equation at present,” but undoubtedly “when faced with a serious illness, one must make a personal transition.” Maintaining emotional balance when diagnosed with a problem as serious as cancer, even facing it with strength and temperance to overcome treatments and the adverse effects they cause, is a major challenge, but it is also of great help to the patient. Accepting the loss of health means experiencing a mourning and following the battle against the disease, people inevitably change. The prestigious Dr. Lara, for example, is unsure as to whether illness has made him a better specialist, but he is positive that he is now “a better doctor.” This precision makes a difference in the health outcomes of patients, bringing into play concepts such as empathy, humanity or love for others in the premise of professional solvency. Lara shares his conviction about the figure of the physician as the professional who accompanies the patient through their illness, taking charge of their suffering. Because “physicians are companions for patients, accompanying them on their journeys, not mere service providers.” It is definitely quite thought-provoking to hear in the doctor’s words that “cancer is one of the best things that has happened to [him] in [his] life.” Comprehensive approach In recent years, as a result of research and healthcare innovation in cancer treatment, therapies such as immunotherapy and technologies such as intraoperative radiotherapy have emerged that offer hope for patients. As Dr. Lara explains, the situation has changed positively, compared to just a few decades ago “we have increasingly better assistance, more information and faster channels to deal with the initial fear. Most of the tumors diagnosed today, which are lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, are cured in an increasingly relevant percentage of cases, in localized lung cancers the relative 5-year survival rate is 60%, in breast cancer, the 5-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 95% and 85% for regional cancer; in prostate cancer, both localized and regional, the 5-year survival rate is practically 100%.” New digital-based therapeutic contributions such as GMV’s IORT (Intraoperative Radiotherapy) planner, Radiance™, is showing very good results (both in terms of preventing the reproduction of other tumors and increasing life expectancy) in tumors such as breast or brain tumors, sarcomas, rectum, skin, vertebral metastases, among others. Similarly, dealing with the emotional impact of coming to terms with cancer has improved significantly. As Pedro Lara shares with satisfaction, “today there are oncology psychologists in hospitals; years ago this was not the case.” Emotional healing, “in many cases, is more complex than biological healing.” In addition to the help of specialists (psychologists and psychiatrists), activities such as yoga or mindfulness have been shown to be beneficial to “combat fear, anxiety and anxiety about the future of life.” He himself, when ill, began practicing meditation to focus on the present and to personally transition in order to cope with the serious illness, as he explains. Yoga helped him to “process the difficult moments in a peaceful situation, to take a step back and put himself in the place of others. Not to judge and to willingly accept what was coming, without losing the direction of the meaning of his life.” *Pedro Lara is a Professor of Oncology at the Fernando Pessoa Canary Islands University, Director of the Canary Islands Integral Oncology Center of the San Roque University Hospital in Las Palmas and Director of the Canary Islands Cancer Research Institute, President of the European Union of Medical Specialties. Radiation Oncology Group and President of the National Commission of Radiation Oncology of the Spanish Ministry of Health Author: Maole Cerezo Print Share Comments Your name Asunto Comment About text formats Restricted HTML Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang target> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id> Lines and paragraphs break automatically. Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.