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Cancer: tailored prevention for people at risk – Health

Cancer: tailored prevention for people at risk – Health

The Gustave-Roussy Cancer Center launched the Interception Program in 2021. The aim is to detect disease risks in potentially exposed patients as early as possible and give them personal prophylaxis.

Gustave Rossi was an outstanding neurologist and oncologist to whom we owe, in 1934, the founding of the Cancer Institute of Villejuif in the Val-de-Marne. The medical facility now bears his name. It is recognized as the leading European center for care, research and education in oncology. in 2021, objection program It was launched there with The aim is to identify people at risk of developing cancer as early as possible and to offer them personalized prevention.

By people at increased risk we mean individuals who have been exposed to toxic substances such as tobacco, alcohol or even sunlight for example. “This also concerns people who have certain genetic characteristics or a significant family history of cancer, which reflects a special susceptibility to this disease,” confirms Dr. Olivier Caron, genetic oncologist, co-coordinator of the Interception programme, head of the department of the genetics committee and responsible for genetic counseling at Gustave Rossi Centre.

Five follow-ups have been proposed to prevent some types of cancer

Interception currently offers five courses. The first relates to an increased risk of breast cancer. It is addressed to Women with a genetic defect, which has been shown to be predisposed to cancer. “We also accept women whose family history increases the risk of cancer, but it is not possible to highlight the abnormality in the family’s genes,” notes Dr. Olivier Caron.

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Childhood women exposed to chest radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma* It is also supported there. In addition to those whose breast biopsies showed atypical cells. These cells are not cancerous but their presence is statistically associated with an increased risk of developing cancer in the following decade.”

The second track supervises the people present Carriers of Lynch syndrome, which is a genetic predisposition responsible for an increased risk of colon cancer and precancerous gynecological diseases (ovarian, uterine, etc.). “In terms of predispositions, we also have a dedicated follow-up of men who carry a gene abnormality that increases their risk of breast and prostate cancer,” notes the doctor.

About a thousand people were welcomed between 2021 and 2022

Lung cancer risk is the subject of the fourth preventive follow-up of the Intercept programme. ” It is about heavy smokers or former heavy smokers Which stopped less than 10 years ago,” Dr. Karon continues.

Another path is open to those who have had childhood cancer treatment with or without radiation therapy. Other courses are in the pipeline, including soon one dedicated to the pancreas.

About a thousand people entered the Interception Program Between 2021 and 2022. Volunteers are sent by the attending physician – or by a specialist – to a multidisciplinary team consisting of doctors (gynecologist, nutritionist, oncologist, etc.), psychologist, sports coach, nurse and administrative secretary. They can also apply spontaneously by completing an online survey which will determine if their application should be granted.

The patient leaves with recommendations that he is free to apply

The care takes place over the course of a day at Gustave-Roussy. Interspersed with consultations, individual interviews and group workshops. Follow-up is done over several days when the patient’s condition causes him to enter more than one course. This may be the case, for example, for a woman who smokes heavily and has a certain family history that increases her risk of breast cancer.

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Interception co-coordinator specifies: “We launched Themes of personal protection. We do not do screening tests on the same day except for lung cancer risks where a scan is offered on the day of the visit. The patient leaves with recommendations to be applied under the direction of the city doctor.” It is up to him to follow them.

This specially designed calendar can include nutritional advice, suggestions for physical activity, planning monitoring check-ups, and so on. The patient is informed of the disadvantages and advantages of his choices. ” We will not force the smoker to quit but we will direct him to an addiction specialist if desired. But if he comes to us, it’s because he’s worried about his health and generally motivated,” the cancer geneticist analyzes.

The goal is to reduce the number of serious cancers by 30%.

Objection is part of a performance improvement and patient engagement perspective. The means used to encourage traditional screening (campaigns, letters sent to homes, etc.) are indeed substantial, but obstacles and concerns remain. “The days we offer make it possible to take the time to report and answer patients’ questions,” notes the oncologist.

And to add: “If the plan is explained and we can stimulate the patient during the day, it will be more effective.” The goal of the program is Reducing the number of serious cancers by 30% in the coming years. “It is possible. Breast cancer screening, if followed intensively, will prevent one in five deaths.”

The earlier the disease is recognized, the greater the chances of recovery and the exclusion of more heavy-duty treatments (and their consequences). At the moment, Interception is only being played in Gustave-Roussy. Some cancer centers will benefit soon, as will other hospitals in the long run.

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* This is a cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is the main component of the body’s immune system. It can especially affect children and teens.