The Spanish Breast Cancer Federation (Federación Española de Cáncer de Mama, FECMA) and the 47 Women-Patients’ Associations which are members of the federation celebrate 19th October as International Breast Cancer Day for all its stages.

Now that we are observing that we are putting behind us the most critical stages of Covid-19, it seems to us that it is a matter of urgency to return to normality in private and hospital healthcare. Those in charge of healthcare administrations should give priority to making up for the delays in diagnostic tests, in face-to-face consultations, in non urgent surgery, and in certain treatment.

We trust that our public health system will resume its habitual activities although to do so it will be necessary to hire more staff and count on a larger budgetary allowance. We consider that perhaps now is the time to reflect on the humanisation of the relationship of healthcare personnel as public servants with their patients.

It should be remembered that cancer was around before Covid-19 and continues to be with us. We have supported the Vaccination Strategies against Covid-19 since the first version was approved on 18th December 2020 and the periodic updates issued by the Inter-territorial Council of the National Health Service. We will support all recommendations made by experts on the future stages of vaccination.

We are proud of the efficiency which the public health system has shown during the vaccination campaign and the positive response of the majority of the Spanish population to achieve higher levels of immunisation. We regret that declarations denying the efficiency of the vaccinations are still being heard.

In the conviction that getting vaccinated is the best way of thinking of others and being caring, we recommend vaccination against Covid-19 and now advise young people and teenagers to do so. We continue to defend the early detection programmes administered by the public health system which are free and continuous over time; they are allocated the necessary resources and implemented by trained personnel with quality controls and the assessment of results including participation.

We are sure that those in charge of these programmes will continue to work to resolve the incidents and delays caused by the pandemic. Covid-19 has made it difficult for patients to have access to certain innovative medicines in Spain. It should not be forgotten that pharmaceutical innovation allows progress in tackling
serious and prevalent pathologies. These delays have a negative effect on patients, on medical prescription, and on the pharmaceutical industry.

It would be highly desirable for the Ministry of Health to activate mechanisms such as the simplification of procedures or more flexible assessments without this involving the relaxation of requirements; this would shorten the periods between the authorisation of the drugs by the European Medicines Agency and their availability for patients.

The anticipated investment in healthcare technology must include its being part of primary healthcare, the application of prevention policies and the early detection of diseases, and the necessary interrelation between healthcare policies and social policies. Although the tackling of breast cancer constitutes a healthcare problem, the administrations must also take into account the social dimension deriving from oncological disease.

This same healthcare technology should serve to provide us definitively with homogeneous updated cancer population registers. Now more than ever equity must continue to be a strategic principle of the healthcare administrations which manage our National Health services as a whole. A system in which there are differences between the Autonomous Regions is not equitable.

Health services and provisions must be homogeneous within the National Health System. Our Spanish Breast Cancer Federation (FECMA) has always been sensitive to the situation of metastatic breast cancer which generates complex needs on the part of the patients which affect their personal, family, and professional lives.

Research into and innovation in oncology has meant that cancer is no longer considered to be a monolithic or inflexible disease. Improved molecular and genetic knowledge, precision medicine in short, has led to better treatment and better quality of life for patients. Despite the difficulties they face, women with metastatic breast cancer continue to be passionate about life and trust that research and innovation can define their future and allow improved monitoring of the disease.

Our Spanish Breast Cancer Federation (FECMA) is grateful for the effort of those in charge of palliative care, the objective of which is to prevent or address the side effects caused by the seriousness of the disease or by the treatment and follows with interest studies on the attention given to long-term survivors from a healthcare and social perspective.

Today it is urgent to improve the survival rates of oncologic patients even if this means a burden as far as
research investment is concerned. As women with breast cancer at all its stages we declare our satisfaction with the investments in healthcare, in the pharmaceutical sector, and in companies specialising in biotechnology for health anticipated in the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan which will be financed with European Funds.

These actions will help to create employment, to strengthen the knowledge-based economy, to develop sustainable companies, and to drive a competitive pharmaceutical sector which will eliminate certain dependences on the supplying of strategic high-quality medicines.

We continue to feel the need for an agreement on the sustainability, the cohesion, and the quality of the National Health System, including the participation of the associative movement of patients of which our Federation is an active member. Today on International Breast Cancer Day we continue to support public, quality, universal, and free healthcare which must continue to be a strategic element of social cohesion and
of equality and the active powerhouse of the new economy, and today we continue to call for The recognition of the contribution of the associative movement of women patients towards the overcoming of the effects of a social, sanitary, educational, and economic crisis with their ideas, their activities, and their commitment.

From our present situation, we women with Breast Cancer at all its stages will continue united so as to maintain our claims and our commitments in the solidarity of our remembrance of all those women with Breast Cancer who lived in fear and uncertainty but were always true to themselves.