ManilaMed or Medical Center Manila (MCM), one of the country’s leading hospitals, has stepped to the forefront in the war against cancer with the opening of a newly constructed Cancer Care Center that will serve as a one-stop cancer facility with state-of-the-art equipment, and a fresh, and holistic approach to treating cancer patients.

No disease on Earth evokes the sense of dread that Cancer does.  It is the third leading cause of death globally and locally.  Among the leading causes of death, it is the one that is most likely to strike before the onset of old age.  Worst of all, it is the disease that has become almost synonymous to prolonged suffering, not just for the patients but for the families of the victims as well.

While advances in medical science have greatly helped improve the efficacy of cancer treatment, science has also shown that beating cancer is by no means purely a technological endeavor.  Genuine compassion and heartfelt care are essentials to Cancer survival.  It is with these insights in mind that the new Cancer Care Center at ManilaMed was designed from top to bottom.

ManilaMed formally launched its Cancer Care Center last Tuesday (June 20) with a special press briefing led by its President and CEO Mr. Jose Ronaldo Delos Santos.

Medical Oncologist Dr. Lou Jorel Tia presented a cancer overview in the Philippines, prevalence, mortality, treatment options and the availability of treatment facilities. He said that there are only around 35 hospitals in the country that has an existing cancer treatment facility – and ManilaMed so far, is the only one that is equipped with the most advance technology for cancer treatment.

The ManilaMed Cancer Care Center also boast of its Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) approach  in dealing with their cancer patients.  By definition, a multidisciplinary team is a group of health care workers who are members of different disciplines (Psychiatrists, Social Workers, etc.), each providing specific services to the patient.

“One of the newer features of the Cancer Care Center which we are trying to introduce is the concept of the multi-disciplinary team approach in the management of Cancer,” says Cancer Care Center head medical oncologist Dr. Dennis Sacdalan. “We bring people from different disciplines, different specialties together in one setting, and they’re there to discuss a patient so that all aspects of the patient’s treatment can be covered.”

Aside from its novel approach, the Cancer Care Center at ManilaMed will have only the best hardware in the country.  The centerpiece of the Cancer Care Center is a state-of-the-art Linear Accelerator (LINAC) provided by ManilaMed’s partner in this endeavor, the Philippine Oncology Center Corporation.  A LINAC is a radiation therapy machine that utilizes focused radiation to kill cancer cells.  In many cases radiation is a less drastic and less invasive option than surgery.

“With the new LINAC, accuracies in terms of hitting the tumor is now reckoned in millimeters.  The model of LINAC at ManilaMed is the most advanced in the Philippines.  It is one of only three similar machines in the whole country, and in Metro Manila, only Medical City has a comparable machine.”  explains chief of radiation oncology at ManilaMed, Dr. Vicente Hizon.

The most advanced feature of this LINAC is Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).  When older LINACs have to move from angle to angle, delivery of radiation is stopped so that the beam can conform to the two-dimensional shape of the tumor from the new perspective, the model in ManilaMed can adjust the beam on the fly while continually delivering radiation.

“Accuracy in position and the accuracy of the dose are both very much improved.  Because of this, survival, local tumor control and the side effects produced by the radiation treatment are better.” Explains Dr. Hizon.

The final piece of the puzzle though is heart.  The Cancer Care Center of ManilaMed will not just be about treating cancer, it will be about treating people.

“We strive to be more holistic in our approach.  Aside from having a team of doctors, we also hope to introduce other aspects of cancer care.  Part of the multi-disciplinary team approach is to provide psycho-social support, even spiritual support.  Pastoral care will be part and parcel of the multi-disciplinary management of patients,” shares Dr. Sacdalan.

Explaining further about palliative care and journeying with the cancer patient are Dr. Jimmy Catapia (Surgical Oncologist) and Dr. Manuel Medina (Oncologist Specializing in Palliative Care).

ManilaMed is one of the leading hospitals in the Philippines, it is located at 1000 Gen. Luna St, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila Philippines.  For more information on the Cancer Care Center at ManilaMed, go to http://manilamed.com.ph/portfolio-items/cancer-care-center/, or call (02) 523-8121 local 2647.

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