Mission, vision and values
Mission, vision and values
The National Cancer Institute of Milan (INT), foundation and government-designated centre for treatment and research (IRCCS), has been treating cancer patients and carrying out clinical and basic research in cancer, since its formation in 1928. It is recognised as a leading cancer centre in Italy.
The INT has recently been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Centre by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) in recognition of its excellence both in patient care and the development of new treatments.
Other INT activities are: provision of accurate and up-to-date information on the prevention and treatment of all forms of cancer to the public; provision of continuous professional training and updating to INT staff, and innovator in the organisation and management of healthcare.The INT’s role as an innovator in the organisation and management of healthcare is illustrated by the fact that it was a founder of the Lombardy Oncological Network (ROL). Both ROL and the INT co-ordinate accredited public and private healthcare structures operating in the Region of Lombardy.
Cancer treatment is complex and constantly changing. At the INT, patients are diagnosed and treated by multidisciplinary teams of highly-qualified physicians and other health professionals, all of whom are skilled in the administration of both established and experimental treatments.
Another major area of INT commitment is the care of terminally-ill cancer patients. The INT’s palliative teams ensure that physical symptoms are controlled and patients are made as comfortable as possible, thereby preserving their quality of life.
INT’s researchers have made major contributions to our increasing understanding of the roles that genes play in the development of cancer. This new knowledge has led to the development of targeted cancer treatments and the growth of predictive medicine including genetic tests on healthy persons to quantify their risk of developing cancer. High risk individuals can be offered intensive follow-up or prophylactic treatments if the risk is particularly high. New genetic knowledge is also allowing the personalisation of treatments for people with cancer.
Although genetic factors contribute to the risk of developing cancer, it is also clear that lifestyle plays an important role in cancer risk. The INT actively disseminates information on how lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of various types of cancer and other diseases. The INT’s message, informed by research [e.g. Soerjomataram et al, International Journal of Cancer, 2007] is that stopping smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, doing regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cancer by up to 50%.
The INT is also a leading Italian and European centre for the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers, and is the only Italian oncological hospital authorized to carry out liver transplants.
Finally, the Institute is a leading European referral centre for neuroendocrine tumours. In 2010, the INT was officially recognised by the European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (ENETS) as one of the 10 best hospitals in Europe for the treatment of these diseases. The ENETS is the most important European organisation for the study and treatment of neuroendocrine tumours.
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