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Madrid, May 5, 2022.- A cancer diagnosis is not only a devastating emotional burden for the patient, but also for their relatives and those closest to them, who experience the whole process as if it were their own. They will provide great support and be a vital pillar to help deal with the usual, very common feelings like anguish or fear after hearing the news. Throughout the process, the team of professionals must also provide security and support from a human point of view. Cancer is therefore a disease shared by all. With the aim of bringing visibility to all these key players during the cancer 'journey', MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid launches the 'Share your story' campaign, a project whose goal is to underline the importance of the patient's closest environment from a human point of view.

Like their closest environment, the oncologist and the medical team naturally are also part of the roller coaster that begins after the diagnosis. They all form part of a solid team guaranteeing safety and protection to deal with the disease in the best way possible.

The campaign consists of five videos in which MD Anderson Madrid patients surprise all those involved in their illness, family, friends and healthcare personnel, at a very touching meeting to thank them for the commitment they have shown during the illness. The five stories making up the campaign seek to highlight the close relationship between the patient, their environment and the professionals, so that the oncologist also becomes a trusted figure at these moments.

The double role of the doctor and the nursing team in cancer processes, as professionals and as confidants, helps a patient to cope with the emotional and psychological effects of the disease and allows them to express their suffering naturally. It is a form of suffering the patient may hide in some cases so as not to make those closest to them suffer and which the doctors and nurses channel through active listening.

The story of Carlota, Magaly, Amaia, Estrella and Maria

'Share your story' tells, for example, the story of Carlota, Spanish runner-up in 400m hurdles, who was aiming for the national title when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at a very young age. After several chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy treatments, she has reinvented herself and today is a triathlete. Furthermore, she has achieved her dream of being a mother. Her doctor, Laura Garcia Estevez, head of the Breast Tumor Section at MD Anderson Madrid, is now one of the most important people in her life.

Magaly's story also highlights the importance of the figure of the doctor during treatment. Five years ago, she was diagnosed with peritoneal carcinomatosis in her native Chile, where no treatment was available for her. She traveled to Madrid, where she was treated by Dr. Santiago Gonzalez, medical director and head of the center's Surgical Oncology Service and his team. After complex surgery and several doses of chemotherapy, she is now disease-free.

The accompaniment and the personal and professional involvement of the nursing team is also essential, as shown in Estrella’s testimony, who is grateful for the support she received from nurses Mamen Lopez and Maria Marques and from members of her family. This patient was diagnosed with peritoneal pseudomyxoma and referred to the Palliative Care Units at other hospitals. She arrived at MD Anderson Madrid in 2007, where she underwent surgery and since 2009, she has been free of the disease.

Amaia and Maria, patients of Dr. Javier de Santiago, head of the Gynecologic Oncology Service, and of Dr. Natalia Carballo, head of the Radiotherapy Service, respectively, complete MD Anderson Madrid's participation in the campaign, which highlights how important the human factor is in cancer processes.

You can see the full stories at the following link: