Interview with Agnès Buzyn, President of the National Cancer Institute (INCa) who specifies at what age to be screened ...
What is a cancer "taken in time"?
Agnès Buzyn: There is no single definition: it can change according to the cancers, but in general "taking cancer in time" means detecting it at a time that allows access to a treatment that can cure the cancer. patient or to offer him lighter treatments.
Fortunately, we have made a lot of progress ...
Agnès Buzyn: You should know that one in two patients today cure cancer. With respect to breast cancer, it should be remembered that 90% of patients can be cured if tumors have been diagnosed at an early stage. Screening helps a lot in this, because it allows to discover many cancers at an early stage.
But there has also been so much medical progress, that the chances of healing breast cancer, even diagnosed at a later stage, have become more important. Even if these tumors diagnosed later will be treated by heavier treatments, and therefore with greater risk of sequelae than if they had been diagnosed at an early stage.
Currently, despite advances in treatment, screening is still an effective weapon for breast cancer control.
From what age to get tested and how often?
Agnès Buzyn : For breast cancer and colorectal cancer, there are national screening programs for anyone between 50 and 74 years old. There is no organized screening before age 50. Before this age, one can be screened if the doctor considers that there is a particular risk.
From the age of 50, screening is a public health issue. These two organized screenings are fully covered 100% by the health insurance, without advance of expenses.
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