Disease-free for ten years. Thanks to science!

Usually, the ScienceFlows blog is a platform to visible the research results or participation in dissemination and outreach activities in which we collaborate as a group recognized by the Universitat de València.

However, on this time, I wanted to publish a personal story in gratitude for all the personal and professional support I received during the last decade. In October 2012, a mammogram revealed that I had breast cancer. This diagnosis signified numerous clinical tests, mastectomy, chemotherapy, medication for ten years, and excellent regular follow-up by the team of Dr Ana Lluch, an oncologist at the Hospital Clínico Universitario de València. After her retirement, she continues as coordinator of the research group in Biology in Breast Cancer-INCLIVA. The INCLIVA is one of the health research institutes of the Hospital Clínico, together with the scientific excellence groups of the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology of the University of Valencia and the IGENOMIX Foundation. For me, the structures of my university (UVEG) are very close. I know them (laboratories, institutes, departments, etc.), however, after everything happened to me, I think it is relevant to disseminate to society how scientific institutions are structured and work in our country and all the processes that occur in them.

Perhaps public knowledge of scientific institutions could generate a more proactive and positive attitude on the part of citizens to support investment in science, innovation, sustainability…etc. Everyone, sooner or later, will need to attend health services; that is why the health system should have resources that allow health personnel to spend time with patients and use the best diagnoses and treatments for people who, unfortunately, will attend the health system because of an illness. Ten years ago, despite a breast cancer diagnosis, I felt fortunate to be part of a public scientific institution because I was confident that I would be cared for by the best professionals in their disciplines. I shared these thoughts in conversations with the rector Esteban Morcillo when the whole problem burst into my life. He encouraged me to trust our health professionals’ decisions deeply, and I did it. Thanks, Esteban.

Everyone, sooner or lates, will need to attend health services; that is why the health system should have resources that allow health personnel to spend time with patients and use the best diagnoses and treatments for people who, unfortunately, will attend the health system because of an illness

Carolina Moreno

Today, and after all this decade of being linked to the Oncology service of the Hospital Clínico, I feel delighted that thousands of people receive exceptional patient care every day. We are all equal in the waiting room, treatments, and hospitalizations. That is why it is essential that everyone feels that they have an equal opportunity to receive care.

Yesterday, in the same room where Dra Lluch received me on the first day, Dr Juan Miguel Cejalvo and Dr Víctor Seguí assisted me, and they discharged me: ten years free of disease. For all this, I want to thank all the economic resources, human capital, as well as time dedicated by all the services (Primary Care, Gynecology, Neurology, Digestive System, …etc.), which are coordinated so that every day they can be able to say good news to someone about their disease process like the one I received yesterday.

I would also like to thank all the people who work with me every day at the University of Valencia and who allow me, as happened last week, to participate in activities that promote the visibility of the production of scientific knowledge that has been public-funded through stable and robust structures such as the Units of Science Culture and Innovation. The week also ended with the award ceremony of the XXVIII European Prize for the Popularization of Science “Estudi General” to the microbiologist José Ramón Alonso, Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Salamanca. I had good luck delivering the award to him in a fantastic ceremony. In general, the weeks of the last decade, in addition to the achievements of my private life, in the professional field were full of good times with project meetings, expert panels, working groups, manuscripts selection, research stays, scientific publications, outreach activities, tutorial sessions, classes with undergraduate and graduate Journalism students, doctoral theses, promotion places…etc.

Finally, besides thanking my family and friends for all this time of encouragement and care, I wish to dedicate a few words of respect and love to my colleagues in the ScienceFlows team. From the Institute of Social Welfare Policies (POLIBIENESTAR) and the Department of Language Theory and Communication Sciences of the UVEG, they work to make social science projects improve people’s quality-of-life, through tools, protocols, indicators, standards, science communication and socio-technical innovations. Thanks to the whole team and, especially, those who work with me daily (Amaia, Ana, Empar, Isabel, Lorena, Paula and Sole). A team in which we collaborate and share a lot of time and in which human factors are essential to make our work better. Also, a group committed to social science research, sustainable development objectives, and knowledge transfer to society.

Thanks to science, a team that today is possible and continues to grow.