World Cancer Day 2018

What do specialists say? Healthy daily habits and screening are the main keys to cancer prevention.

There were an estimated 14.1 million cancer cases around the world in 2012, a number that is expected to grow to 24 million by 2035, according to World Cancer Research Fund International. To combat this disease and following guidelines from health institutions and specialists across the globe, many people in developed countries are changing their habits.

The adoption of a healthy lifestyle can reduce up to one-third of cancer cases, decreasing related fatality rates. Overweight and smoking are pointed out as strong risk factors, with the last being responsible for 90% of lung cancer cases in the world. A diet low in fruit and vegetables, alcohol use and lack of physical activity are also behavioral contributors to mortality associated with cancer.

Diagnose in advance

Screening, combined with a healthy lifestyle, is essential for cancer prevention and treatment. Early mammography screening contributes to reducing breast cancer mortality. For women aged 50 years or old, screening is a vital procedure to detect advanced cancer cases. Even though many people are aware of the importance of breast and cervical cancer screenings, there isn´t the same concern with other forms such as colorectal cancer, in which mortality is still very high.

Screening can be effective in selected cancer types when appropriate tests are used, implemented effectively, and linked to other steps in the care process. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if diagnosed early and treated adequately.

A healthy routine to combat cancer

There is a growing number of people worried about cancer, who nowadays has access to a great amount of information. Aiming to promote a longer and healthier life, informed and concerned individuals are scrutinizing and adapting their diets for the sake of protection. It is already known that adopting specific habits in our daily routine can reduce the risk of a great number of conditions, cancer included. Regarding the World Cancer Day, celebrated every year on February 4th, the World Health Organization recalled the following effective tips for cancer prevention.

 

If you need to undergo diagnosis or treatment, you may contact us and we will make all local arrangements according to your condition and availability, ensuring that you undergo care in distinctive centres in Portugal, with medical experts and multidisciplinary teams.

Portugal: World’s Leading Destination

Portugal was the biggest winner at the latest World Travel Awards: the country was elected World’s Leading Destination. Lisbon got the award for the Best City Break Destination.

Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Azores

It’s the first time that an European country wins such award. Among the 17 destinations running for this recognition were countries like Brazil, Greece, USA or the Maldives. A couple of months ago Portugal had already won the award for Leading European Destination.

Portugal keeps attracting more and more tourists and foreign residents. This is another recognition adding to many accomplished during the last years. A couple of months ago, Lonely Planet placed Portugal among the top destinations for 2018.

Lisbon, once again

Lisbon, that has also been gathering multiple awards as destination for a while, was as well among the winners at the World Travel Awards Ceremony. This city was the top choice in the category for best city break destination.

 

 

 

World Diabetes Day 2017

422 million adults worldwide have diabetes. The prevalence of this condition is rising at a faster pace than before particularly among low and middle income countries.

There are different types of diabetes. Only type 1 is not preventable. In all cases, the consequences might be severe: vision loss, kidney failure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke and even lower limb amputation.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and what causes it it’s still not known. In this case, the body does not produce sufficient insulin and requires a daily intake of insulin to compensate.

Type 2 diabetes happens when the body produces sufficient insulin but doesn’t manage to use it well. It used to happen only in adults but lately can be found in children as well.This is the most common type and is normally associated with being overweight and conducting a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, diabetes type 2 can be prevented or delayed with a healthier lifestyle.

Gestational diabetes is temporary a condition that occurs during pregnancy and is characterized by hyperglycaemia. It represented and increased risk during pregnancy and delivery and can lead to diabetes type 2 in the children in the future.

Prevention is in your hands

Leading a healthy lifestyle and not smoking are important steps to prevent diabetes type 2. Additionally, only 30 minutes of physical activity per day can make a difference and help you to keep a healthy body weight.

Book a consultation with a nutritionist if you are looking for help to live a healthier and more active lifestyle!

 

Lonely Planet: Portugal among the top destinations for 2018

The country comes third in the Lonely Planet ranking. This is just another of many international recognitions portraying Portugal as a desirable tourism destination.

Cascais, Portugal
Cascais, Portugal
Related: Portugal is the country to go in 2017

Already thinking about where to go next year? Lonely Planet, reknown worldwide for its travel guide books, places Portugal in third place in the top ten countries to visit next year. Last year, Lonely Planet had already featured Azores as one of the must visit regions for 2017.

The largest travel guide books publisher describes Portugal as “a dynamic center for art, culture and cuisine” along with the countries natural wonders, such as over 300 Blue Flag beaches and biosphere reserves. Check the full ranking

An established and awarded destination

a map of Portugal displaying the awards won at the World Travel awards
Related: Portugal receives 23 “World Travel Awards” – 2016

This recognition comes after multiple others throughout the last few years and emphasizes  the international appraisal of the country potential. Last month, at the World Travel Awards, Portugal got 37 “tourism oscars” . It was the most awarded country in Europe, gathering nearly 30% of the awards , including the prestigious Europe’s Leading destination along with the Leading Beach destination – the Algarve and Leading Cruise Port – Porto de Lisboa.

October: Breast cancer awareness month

Many countries mark October as the Breast Cancer Awareness month, with the aim to disseminate more information about the leading cancer among women, as well as promote an early detection.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Some risk factors have been identified but there are no specific causes leading to this condition. Many higher income countries have implemented cancer screening programs as early detection is still the main way to increase the survival chance.

The incidence of breast cancer is nearly 90 cases  per 100 000 people in Western Europe, while in most developing regions is below 40/100 000. Therefore, breast cancer is seen as a disease affecting mainly higher income countries – which is true – however, rates among lower-income countries are increasing at a faster pace, as life expectancy increases as well in such regions. The survival rates also vary according to different regions in the world. In North America is 80% or higher, while in low-income countries is below 40%, mostly due to late detection.

Identified risks

Genetics, woman’s reproductive timing and some lifestyle choices can increase the chances of developing breast cancer. For instance, a familial history of breast cancer is a sign to pay attention to; reproductive factors like an early menarche, late menopause, late age of first childbirth and exposure to endogenous estrogens are also important risk factors. Alcohol use, obesity, overweight and physical inactivity can be the reason for around 20% or breast cancer cases, according to a study from 2005.

Prevention

Breast self exams and clinical breast examination can provide some preliminary leads but the most effective way to detect breast cancer is by doing a mammography. Normally, women without risk factors should start doing the mammography exam after turning 35, each 18 months until the menopause. After the menopause the periodicity should be every 2 years.

Contact Medical Port if you are living in Portugal and don’t know where to go to do a mammography. For a thorough analyisis on women’s health, we also provide a gynaecological check-up.

 

Source: World Health Organization

Surrogacy in Portugal – Part 2

Surrogacy is regulated in Portugal since August. While the country puts no restriction based on nationality, the process has multiple requirements and must always happen on a voluntary basis.

For an introductory part and requirements for surrogacy, check Part 1 of this article.

The process

The process of surrogacy requires a previous authorization by the Portuguese National Council for Assisted Reproductive Technology (Conselho Nacional da Procriação Medicamente Assistida – CNPMA).

The couple requesting surrogacy must deliver their application to the CNPMA in order to be “pre-approved”. The application includes a set of documents, like the contract to be signed between the couple and the surrogate, a declaration by a psychiatrist or psychologist approving the request, a medical declaration from the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) center confirming that the woman’s impossibility to get pregnant and explaining the reproductive technique to be used, among other documents. Extra information and documents may be asked by the CNPMA at any moment during the process.

The CNPMA must provide their decision on the request within 60 days. The decision is taken on a case-by-case scenario. CNPMA will also request the opinion of the Medical College (Ordem do Médicos), though it is not binding. The Medical College will also have 60 days to provide their saying on the matter. The process goes back to the CNPMA who will accept or reject it, within 60 days.

If accepted, the process of ART must follow the same guidelines for any couple attempting ART without using surrogacy.

At the moment, there is only one request for surrogacy that has been pre-approved by the CNPMA – a heterosexual couple whose surrogate will be the mother of the female member of the couple.

Should you need addtional information on ART in Portugal, click to contact us at Medical Port.

Surrogacy in Portugal – Part 1

Since August, Portugal is one of the few European countries to have legislation on surrogacy. In some countries like France, Italy or Spain, this process is forbidden, while the law varies among other European countries where it’s legal.

Who is eligible?

Heterosexual couples and lesbian couples.

What are the main requirements?

Surrogacy is only legal when women suffer from a medical condition that leaves them permanently incapable of becoming pregnant, for instance, when the woman doesn’t have an uterus.

All the process of surrogacy can only happen on a voluntary basis. It is punishable by law to pay or being paid for surrogacy, except for the expenses involved in the process. The surrogate won’t have any right over the child once it’s born.

The conception via assisted reproductive technology must involve gametes from at least one of the members of the couple requesting the surrogacy. Surrogates cannot be a donor for the process of surrogacy involving themselves.

Foreigners and surrogacy in Portugal

Having Portuguese citizenship or living in Portugal are not requirements for surrogacy, which means foreigners, both the couple and the possible surrogate, can come to the country and undergo the process just like any Portuguese citizen. However, all the process of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) must be done in Portuguese centers and the contract signed between the couple and the surrogate must be written in Portuguese.

Further reading: Surrogacy in Portugal – Part 2: The Process

Expats have decided: Portugal has the best quality of life

Portugal is one of the biggest winners in the latest report from InterNations, an international expat community, that counted on the input of 12 500 expats.

Douro Valley, Portugal
Douro Valley, Portugal

According to the 2017 “Expat Insider Report”, Portugal is definitely a top choice among expats. The climate, the people, the culture, leisure possibilities, the easiness to settle in and safety are some of the most valued aspects.

Portugal is definitely seen as a welcoming country: the country comes first in the rankings for “friendliness”, “feeling welcome, feeling at home in the local culture”, “easiness to settle down” and “easiness to get used to the local culture”.

All these granted this country the first place on the overall ranking for quality of life. Expats are satisfied and live happily in Portugal. The report claims only 4% expressed any dissatisfaction. One of the participants in the survey claimed: “This is a gem of a country hidden in plain sight”.

Healthcare

Portugal is also included on the top ten for “Health and Wellbeing”, a category that analyses both healthcare and the quality of the environment, describing the healthcare performance above average, both for quality and affordability.

Health R&D: Portugal among the best

A recent report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) places Portugal on the 8th place in the ranking of countries with highest percentage of GDP spent on Health and medical science research and development (R&D).

Champalimaud Foundation

The report claims that Health R&D ensures the availability of appropriate health technologies, which is crucial for the protection and promotion of health. A few examples of portuguese expertise:

  1. The most influential pathologist in the world

In 2015, portuguese Manuel Sobrinho Simões was considered the most influential pathologist in the world. You can read more here.

  1. Champalimaud Foundation

The Champalimaud Foundation is a worldwide reference for oncology. It counts on experts and researchers coming from all over the world. In 2012, the Centre was named the best place worldwide (outside the USA) to do postdoctoral work, by the international journal, The Scientist. One the of the branches of the Foundation, the Center fort he Unknown is directed by Professor Zvi Fuks, a precursor of innovative radiotherapy tecnhiques like the Single Dose Image Guided Radiotherapy (SD-IGRT).   Click to learn more about Champalimaud Foundation.

  1. Internationally awarded researchers (only a few among many!)

  • João Gonçalves got the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation Award to develop a new HIV therapy
  • Ester Coutinho was awarded by the British Academy of Medical Sciences for her work on neurodevelopment in children;
  • Rita Guerreiro won the Fondazione Gino Galletti Neuroscience Prize 2015, which praised her work related to Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Miguel Seabra is Seeds of Science awardee, for his work on one of the types of blindness.

Portugal offers a welcoming and highly professional environment for your medical experience abroad. Contact us via email info@medicalport.org or call us on +351 211 379 718 if you are looking for medical treatments abroad and learn how we can help you to reach the best hospitals and clinics.

Sources: WHO – World Health Statistics 

Portugal twice on the list of best places to retire abroad

Lisbon and the Algarve region feature once again among the top-ten destinations to retire abroad, according to editor of Live and Invest Overseas.

It’s not the first time that Kathleen Pediccord, from Live an Invest Oversees chooses Portugal as a favourite for those seeking destinations to retire abroad. This time the author includes not only the Algarve but also Lisbon.

AlgarvePortuguese beach

The Algarve comes first on the list and is often feature on similar rankings. The author calls it “Europe’s most famous secret”. The region is described as a budget destination, but with a lot ot offer: Europe’s best beaches and golf courses and over 3000 hours of sunshine per year, withing a friendly and welcoming “land of cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses with lace-patterned chimneys, surrounded everywhere by fig, olive, almond and carob trees.” What’s there not to like?

Lisbon

The european capital is often on the news for the best reasons: tourism, culture, food, safety, “coolness”, among many other features.The article emphasizes the hospitality and friendlinness of the city and the people, a recognized Portuguese trait. The city is described as sophisticated, offering a view to the past. The location by the beach, warm and sunny weather and excellent food are some of the other reasons that place the city in the top ten ranking. Additionally, Lisbon has already an established expat community, which may make it easier to settle in.

Thinking about retiring in Portugal? Do not forget about healthcare. At Medical Port, we can advise you about your health insurance option, help you to identify the most suitable healthcare provider for your needs and support on other needs related to your relocation. Email us your questions at info@medicalport.org.

Click to read the full article