“Our top priority in the fight against cancer is prevention.” The Minister of Health, François Braun, announced on Monday his intention to reduce the number of preventable cancers, estimated at 150,000 per year today, to 60,000 per year by 2040.
Today, “prevention remains insufficient since 40% of new cases of cancer detected each year are attributable to our lifestyles”, estimated the Minister, on the occasion of the national convention Unicancer, hospital network dedicated to 100% to oncology.
“15 to 20% of breast cancer deaths could be avoided”
The same goes for screening. “It is estimated, for example, that 15 to 20% of breast cancer deaths could be avoided through greater participation in organized screening. It is considerable,” he said. To reduce avoidable cancers, the Minister intends to “fight against the risk factors that we know”. This is why a “deterrent price” has been maintained on all tobacco products in the Social Security budget.
Prevention will also involve setting up appointments “at the key ages of life” (25, 45 and 65 years old), recalled François Braun. Today, nine million screenings are carried out each year. The Minister announced his desire to “screen one million more people, per year, by 2025”.
Limit the sequelae for cancer patients
He reiterated his intention to increase vaccination against human papillomavirus infections, HPV, linked to the appearance of several cancers. Another priority: to limit the sequelae for cancer patients, by improving the quality of life of patients. “Our objective is to reduce from two thirds to one third the proportion of patients suffering from sequelae five years after a diagnosis”, said the minister.
“A third front on which we must accelerate concerns cancers with a poor prognosis”, for which the five-year survival rate remains low or does not change, he underlined, citing cancers of the lung, pancreas, certain so-called triple-negative breast, esophageal or liver cancers.
So many orientations supported by Unicancer: “These are the ones we want to propel”, said its president Jean-Yves Blay, while deeming it necessary to “reinforce the attractiveness of care”, and to “work on the sustainability of the system. “.