A NEW agreement is set to put Almeria and Andalucia at the forefront of cancer treatment and research. The Amancio Ortega Foundation will contribute €40 million to equipment, doctors and research in what has been described as an unprecedented collaboration between the charity and public sectors.
Ortega is Spain’s richest man, once fleetingly the richest in the world ahead of even Bill Gates. He began his business empire with clothing giant Zara and is a renowned philanthropist.
The Foundation’s agreement with the Andalucian Health Service will dramatically improve radiology units in hospitals from Almeria to Sevilla. The therapeutic capability of cancer units across the region will be improved gradually until 2020 when they will be among the very best in Europe.
Advanced technology will offer more precise treatment, enhance quality of life and increase survival chances. Research will also be conducted into possible cures and prevention strategies.
Each year there are roughly 32,000 new cases of cancer registered in Andalucia. Medical advances have reduced mortality rates but prevalence is increasing. Diagnosis has gone up 1.6 per cent in men, and 2.3 per cent in women during the past 30 years. An older population, junk food and more sedentary lifestyle are behind the increase.