Oncology- cancer clinics and treatments in Switzerland
Oncology- cancer treatments in Switzerland, Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux, Lucerne, Basel, Ticino
Medical oncology is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers. The diagnosis sets the scene for treatment by the oncologists. Chemotherapy, hormonal treatments, immunotherapy or “targeted” cancer therapies are available. The dose, the dosage schedule and the combination of individual agents depend on the patient‘s condition and the nature of their diseases. Medicines for controlling tumours are either administered orally, injected or infused by drip. Drip infusions require either outpatient (lasting a few hours) or hospital treatment (from two to several days’ duration). Chemotherapies can cause unwanted side effects. Research and practice strive to limit these side effects to a minimum.
Cancer treatment abroad has a clear advantage, as oncologists diagnose and treat the disease with the same care. Cancer screening in Switzerland is not only a timely diagnosis; it is the ability to start the treatment and the prevention as quickly as possible.
Cancer and Chemotherapy
Cancer or cancer cells develop in the organism due to mutation or set of mutations that leads to uncontrolled and indiscriminate increase in the number of cells and further dissemination (metastasis).
Mutations are often due to the accumulation of toxins (tobacco, alcohol, chemical products), radiation, infection (bacteria, viruses), as well as more rarely hereditary factor.
Anticancer chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, blocking cell division, leading to their dying. Chemotherapy does not distinguish healthy cells from cancer; this explains the presence of the majority of the side effects of this treatment. The first types of chemotherapy appeared in the period from 1945 to 1950, for the treatment of leukaemia and lymphoma. However, a significant progress in the field of chemotherapy medicine was made only in the seventies with the discovery of cisplatin derivatives.
Progress narrowly focused therapy
During the last decade, there has been some notable progress in the treatment of cancer. It is associated with the appearance of a narrow focus of therapy, which is often very effective and much less toxic to healthy cells. For example, it may be Glivec® in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors, Tarceva® in treating lung cancer, as well as Herceptine® – antibodies that are active on the protein HER-2 which is present in approximately 25% of breast cancer cases.
These drugs have radically changed the outlook for the development of tumors, significantly increasing the efficiency of the treatment and survival of patients. Avastine® -a blocking angiogenesis medicament is used for the treatment of metastatic cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Acting at the level of proliferation of blood vessels, it stifles the tumor, increasing the likelihood of tumor remission when combining this treatment with classical chemotherapy.
Cancer treatment with curative intent and palliative treatment
Doctor-oncologist is confronted to two very different roles – the role of the doctor and the role of a human being. It’s one thing when the tumour is diagnosed at an early stage and there is an effective treatment, and another thing, when the tumour is detected at a late stage with metastases, when there is only palliative treatment (with a few exceptions, such as testicular cancer or Hodgkin’s disease).
It is worth to note that today, the age of the patient is no longer a limiting factor for the use of an anti-cancer treatment and palliative care. Their use is clearly observed in elderly patients without comorbidities.
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