María Edith Ramiro
Eight years ago I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. At that time, the news came as such a heavy burden upon me and my family who also shared the suffering. It wasn't my first experience with this disease, because thirteen years ago I had overcome breast cancer. However after undergoing a surgical procedure and chemotherapy, the clinical course was positive and today I am completely and happily treated.
I don´t intend to narrate my personal experience, which is similar to other people who overcame the cancer, but I would like to speak about EuropaColon Spain, the patient´s association that I belong to.
We are a young association that strives our efforts to educate and inform the society about this disease. EuropaColon Spain started in 2006, at that time, more than half of the Spanish population was unaware of the symptoms that can develop colorectal cancer. Today, after several work with dedication and enthusiasm, we can proudly say that we have contributed to that information has come to many people.
We Pride not only by the fact that we are doing well our job, but fundamentally because it has served to get more done early diagnosis. In addition, today we have the support of non-traumatic test such as fecal occult blood or colonoscopy, which confirm the presence of polyps and whose discovery and removal avoid the possibility of the subsequent clinical course for malignant tumours. This is the first step in making a preventive medicine, which is what should guide us in this fight.
However, in the event of developing the disease and at this point I would like to move my own experience, it is necessary to adopt a positive attitude because will take a decisive role during the treatment and will help us to maintain our quality of life.
It is necessary to trust science - the great doctors that we have and also in their personal dedication to the disease. Nowadays there are therapeutic possibilities, that in hands of the appropriate professional, lead us to achieve positive results about 90% in colorectal cancer today.
We must fight for ourselves and the people around us, who love us and whose suffering is difficult to quantify. They are an incentive to fight strenuously to get out of this trance successfully, which fortunately got increasingly more often. We should respect cancer but not fear, because today cancer is not synonymous of death.
In this regard EuropaColon Spain, its professionals, members and board members are ready to inform, assist, accompany and cover, both patients and the relatives. In order to achieve greater visibility and projection, one of our goals is to increase the number of members. We want to have more voice, to be heard as loudly as possible and it translates into a greater ability to act.
In this way, it will easier to bring the necessary pressure to implement screening programs in all the Autonomous Communities, as well as to facilitate quick access to them. We should eradicate waiting lists for these problems where promptness is vital, and the more members we have - the better capacity to make ourselves heard and to pressure the health authorities. In a good spirit, strength and positive attitude we will be closer to our goals.
María Edith Ramiro.
Member of EuropaColon Spain committee