As a result of the on-going partnership between the Spanish Cancer Association – the AECC – and the Adeje department of health protection and quality of life, presided over by councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo, residents of the borough who are suffering from cancer can soon access a free service offering physical, psychological and social assistance for them and their families. The goal of this pioneering service, as outlined by AECC president in Tenerife Juan Julio Fernández, is to meet the needs of the more vulnerable members of our society who are suffering as a result of this illness.
At the launch of the new service, the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said, “This is a resource that we are putting at the disposal of our people, to provide a service designed for those suffering from any cancer. With this programme in place we can extend the assistance on offer and improve the quality of life for those affected. However we will also continue to stress the importance of education, prevention and early detection as vital tools in maintaining good health”.
Juan Julio Fernández explained that the association has been working for a long time to put this service in place. “Medicine isn’t the only thing we can give to patients, we are also looking at other treatments and help”. He pointed out that, according to current statistics, one in three men and one in four women will present with some form of cancer, which is why early detection is very important as well as making sure there are sufficient resources available to fund research and cure investigations. “In the last 20 years, thanks to studies and scientific advances, the survival index of cancer patients has risen by 40%”.
The AECC and the Adeje council have both committed to allocating resources to the new service to allow for the engagement of professionals to offer a personalised service to affected individuals. The SAO – the Oncology Attention Service – is a resource that will offer a series of therapies such as physiotherapy, oncology services, psychological expertise and social advice and assistance.
The physiotherapies offered will be oncology-based, including pelvic floor treatments, treatment for lymphedema, FMI patients, problems with the central nervous system, breathing, bones and soft tissue. The programme will also offer water-based therapeutic activities using the heated pool in the Los Olivos centre which is adapted for people with particular needs.
According to Adeje health councillor, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, the services will be available through the offices of the health department who are also offering a range of materials and therapy tools to improve the treatment range available.
Psychological services will give offer individual therapy sessions to those suffering from commonly seen cancer-related issues such as depression and stress and anxiety.
The social programme looks at the quality of life of those who have been afflicted by cancer and will offer assistance in many areas, both professional and personal, including help in re-entering the labour market and resuming their social activities. There is also an offer or an assessment of the social welfare situation of the individual patient, the issuing of relevant disability certificates where necessary, offer of prosthetics, economic assistance, food vouchers, loans of orthopaedic materials where needed, occupational workshops and home help where appropriate, among other things.
The Adeje council has a commitment to offer a dedicated space for the use of AECC professionals to offer the above services as well as appropriate storage space for materials and resources.