PATIENTS who have been diagnosed with cancer say that they feel their days are numbered. They tell you that cancer drains them not only mentally and spiritually, but financially, as well.
Cancer treatment is not cheap, especially if you are diagnosed at a later stage.
Undergoing an array of modern techniques to fight cancer offers you a bigger chance of prolonging your life, easing your pain or getting rid of it entirely.
Here in the Philippines, the most common ways of treating cancer are through systemic chemo and radiation therapies. These kill cancerous cells in the body, but in the process, destroy immune cells, thus weakening the patient’s body.
These also affect the physical appearance of the patient because these discolor the skin and pull out hair. Some doctors recommend surgery to remove cancerous tumor or, sometimes, remove the body part where the tumor is located.
Minimally invasive treatment
There is a hospital in Guangzhou City, China that offers modern cancer treatment that does away with the systemic chemotherapy and radiation.
St. Stamford Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou conducts 18 minimally invasive therapies in treating cancer patients.
Aside from modern techniques, St. Stamford uses state of the art medical equipment comparable to Western standards, it being a hospital accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI). JCI is an international accreditation organization that sets high standards in medical care.
St. Stamford is an international hospital that specializes in cancer treatment and plastic surgery. It offers treatments of colon, brain, breast, liver and other types of cancer.
Recently, a delegation from Cebu City, led by Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, visited the hospital upon the invitation of the hospital administration.
The visit was meant to show the hospital facilities and how St. Stamford conducts its medical procedures in treating cancer patients.
St. Stamford’s team of doctors conducts Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE) or arterial infusion chemotherapy.
It directly targets tumor, the source of cancerous cells, using catheters that contain chemo chemical. This method is more effective than the traditional chemotherapy because 95 percent of the medicine goes directly to the tumor and stays there, killing it slowly. According to Dr. Xiachi Peng, chief oncologist of St. Stamford, in a half-day lecture before the delegates, this method lessens the negative effects of the medicine to the body’s immune system because it is localized.
It also has a minimal impact of the patient’s physical appearance because there is no discoloration of the skin, Xiachi said.
Another method is called cryotherapy. It uses medical needles with a temperature not higher than negative 180 degrees Celsius. This localized treatment deadens tumor through the use of very low temperature.
St. Stamford also uses immunotherapy, a type of treatment wherein the body’s immune system is boosted. One method is extracting blood from the patient, culturing it in the laboratory and propagating the immune cells before transfusing it back to the body after a certain period.
The therapy helps the immune system in destroying cancer cells or slowing their growth, and stopping the spread to other parts of the body.
With St. Stamford doctors having more than two decades of experience, Xiachi said, they have several patients who were cured of cancer and who now live normal lives. He cited the case of a Vietnamese male patient who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer but has been cancer-free for seven years after he underwent treatment at St. Stamford.
In another lecture, Dr. Haishan Bai, chief physician and a Nano-knife surgeon, vouched for the safety of their therapies.
He cited Nano-knife therapy as safe because they use 3D printing template and computed topography. Through the use of these modern equipment, the targeted surgery is accurate.
Haishan said their minimally invasive therapies are going to be the future of cancer treatment. Their modern facilities, coupled with affordable hotel-like rooms and caring staff, make St. Stamford a good choice for modern cancer treatment.
In the same trip to Guangzhou late July this year, the delegates visited two Filipino patients with different types of cancer.
One of them, a 51-year-old female patient from Lipa, Batangas, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in both lungs, one and a half years ago. “My left lung is already clear of cancerous tumor but my right still has a small lesion,” she said.
Since the treatment started, she feels stronger and breathes better, she said. Another patient from San Pablo City, Laguna was diagnosed with stage 4 carcinoma last November. “Eighty percent of the cancer cells are gone. But the doctors are still determining the primary source,” said her nephew who is looking after her since her hospitalization in Guangzhou.
They said different types of therapies have been used in treating them.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2017.
Latest issues of SunStar Cebu also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.