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The terms cancer and tumors refer to a situation in which cells, in a specific part of the body, grow and reproduce in an uncontrolled way. Thanks to the enormous successes achieved in recent decades with preventive measures, early diagnostics and therapies, mortality has been significantly reduced.

However, malignant tumors continue to represent one of the main causes of death and deterioration of the quality of life.

Signs and symptoms

Each type of tumor presents a specific symptomatology,With the presence of changes related to the body or unusual symptoms, it is advisable to promptly contact the family doctor who, if there is the suspect of the presence of an oncological pathology, will prescribe the most appropriate diagnostic tests.

Prevention: screening programs

Programs of Screening have the aim to early identify the presence of the disease and reduce the risk of developing cancer. Screening programs are offered free of charge by the National Health Service (NHS) for the prevention of some of the most frequent forms of cancer, such as breast cancer and they are offered to people with a greater risk of developing one of these diseases (for example, taking into account the age group and sex) and, as a result, they are invited to join to these programs. Screening If you fall within these age groups and you have not received the communication, contact your ASL.

Guaranteed rights and services

People diagnosed with cancer are entitled to the exemption for oncological pathology through the validation of the code 048.This exemption gives the right to receive free of charge all drugs and health services related to the treatment of the oncological disease,both in public facilities and facilities recognized by the National Health Service. The minimum duration of the exemption card for neoplastic pathologies can be 5 years, 10 years from the first diagnosis, or unlimited, depending on the type of disease.

The patient with a diagnosis of cancer is also entitled to the recognition of a civil invalidity, which must be certified by the medical commissions of one's home ASL within 15 days of submitting the application. Recognition of a 100% civil disability entitles the person to total exemption from payment of co-payment for drugs and visits for any
The National Health Service also provides free aids, orthoses and prostheses to people with a civil disability higher than 33% and women subjected to mastectomy, people with amputated limbs, people subjected to stomas or laryngectomy, even though they are awaiting the recognition of their disability.

Structures and the Oncology Network

Before choosing the facility to contact, it is essential to discuss with the family doctor, who will certainly be able to help you to make the most appropriate choice. It is important to know that in some Regions the Oncological Networks have been activated as a tool for taking charge of the cancer patient, from the moment in which he receives the diagnosis of cancer, to access to therapies, and during all the stages of the disease. The Networks guarantee the sharing of clinical information and communication between doctors and health facilities that carry out prevention, assistance and treatment activities for people with cancer. An oncology network is divided into main Hubwhich work as reference centers for the territory and take care of patients with more complex situations and the Spoke territorial hospitals, which together with Hub hospitals assist patients with lower clinical criticality directly on the territory, as close as possible to their home and in collaboration with the health and social territorial services.


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