80% of patients with breast tumors are cured by early diagnosis and improved treatments.

The The Rose Garden Foundation Santiago de Compostela has published the book “Learning to live”, written by Juana Maria Guinaldo Vidal, a neighbor since 2003 Ribeira fighting breast cancer metastasis was complicated and forced to face harsh treatment and life experiences than ever imagined. The result of all this, and encouraged by her friend Mari Carmen Fernandez Gago, and ill-co-cancer also, Juana was leaving a record of the difficulties of this disease.


The struggle of John and Mary Carmen is the thousands of women. In Galicia they are diagnosed, according to the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology, about 1,500 breast cancers per year, representing an average of four a day. However, it is one of the tumors, “with a better prognosis and 80% of women diagnosed are cured by early diagnosis and improved treatments,” says Dr. Rafael Lopez, chief of Oncology at the Hospital Clinico Universitario de Santiago.

Although it can occur in men, breast cancer mainly affects women aged between 50 and 70 years, and once it is diagnosed is critical to address the problem from a “multidisciplinary point of view” that includes, in addition to medical oncologists, “specialists in General Surgery, Gynecology, Radiology, Pathology, Radiation Oncology, Plastic Surgery, Nuclear Medicine and Rehabilitation, “says Dr. Lopez.

In addition to survival, it is increasingly important “quality of life for patients” for what are increasingly made “less mastectomies, radiation and most accurate study of the sentinel node to prevent lymphedema,” says the head of Oncology the CHUS. It also is moving in “systematic treatments more effective and less toxic.”

Prevent cancer

As in many other tumors or disease, it is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoiding obesity, exercising, and seek medical consultation before any suspicion. Breast cancer early stage produces no symptoms, even pain, “hence the importance of attending screening campaigns organized by the Department of Sanidade” recalls Dr. Rafael Lopez.

Anyway there are some changes that women should be monitored, such as a lump in the breast or underarm area, change in size or shape of the breast, breast pain unrelated to menstruation, alteration in the skin of the breast or changes in the areola – the nipple.

Learning to live with cancer

The book of John and Mari Carmen Fernandez Guinaldo reflects how a person faces the terrible diagnosis of cancer and what is the role of doctors, health workers, family and friends. Sponsored by the employer Ramiro Carregal, president of Frinsa, the book is published in the project Literapia, Launched by the Foundation in 2007 The Rose Garden to promote the use of reading and writing as support therapy in medicine.