«The right approach is freedom», says Umberto Veronesi, one of the most important oncologists in the world and former Italian Minister of Health: «Even in research and in medicine we must fight conformism». If we want to move forward we must change the rules of the past, he says, at least where they are wrong. One of the most important phases of his career as an oncologist is the conception of breast-conserving surgery in breast cancer treatment. A revolutionary method if compared with the practice of the time. A sensitive issue that «for ten years has made me sleep in terror», for fear of a mistake. Veronesi also recalls the years of the Red Brigades, when he received a threatening letter from the organization, that forced him to change life for almost a year.
Umberto Veronesi is one of the leading international oncologists and Scientific Director of the European Institute of Oncology. He became Minister of Health from 2000-2001. Veronesi dedicated his professional activity to the prevention and treatment of cancer, focusing on breast cancer. For his studies and the results obtained he receives the Gold Medal for distinguished public health.