Bassetti to Burioni: “Let’s not deceive patients about tumors, final victory is far away”

The infectious disease specialist: “We have a great responsibility when speaking in front of millions of people, we are on the right path but there is a lot of work to do”

“It is fair to say that medicine has made important progress in the fight against cancer. Today we are treating tumors that only 10-15 years ago were unfortunately harmful to the prognosis of patients. However, we must also avoid giving false hopes, saying for example that we are one step away from beating cancer, for example. Let’s not deceive patients, we have a great responsibility when speaking in front of millions of people, we are on the right path but far from the final victory”. So at Adnkronos Salute Matteo Bassetti, director of infectious diseases at the San Martino Polyclinic in Genoacomments on the words of virologist Roberto Burioni who, presenting his latest book entitled ‘Match Point’, stated that “we are close to beating tumors, even at an advanced stage”.

“Saying that no one will die from cancer again seems a bit risky to me, also because what we risk causing in the population is a false hope – he adds -. We must avoid giving false hopes to people, because in the end those who work in hospitals, oncologists, internal medicine doctors who have to deal with their patients, I wouldn’t want them to find themselves faced with someone who comes and states that today no one dies from cancer anymore. Instead, we have to make a big effort – warns Bassetti – saying that everyone we must work to ensure that we reach early diagnoses and to make them we need to do prevention. This means having a mammogram, a colonoscopy, a pap test and a visit to the urologist for males. If we left certain things to the oncologists, I would do the infectious disease specialist, I study the literature, but in the end I believe that it is essential that oncologists talk about tumors. And I don’t think that oncologists have said that we are really close to definitively defeating cancer. There is – he concludes – still a long way to go.”