“When a person gets cancer, life changes suddenly,” said Michael Girschikofsky, medical director of the Ordensklinikum Linz-Elisabethinen, at yesterday’s press conference on the new center for uro-oncology. The key to successful treatment is a combination of different methods tailored to the individual patient, such as radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and other targeted therapies. Cancers can often be detected genetically and their therapy can be tailored individually to the respective carcinoma.
- Also read: Charles has an enlarged prostate: expert explains what to do
“Medical knowledge about individual diseases is increasing rapidly, but not every doctor can know everything. That’s why collaboration is so important,” said oncology primary teacher Andreas Petzer. He is one of many experts whose knowledge is pooled for the Uro-Oncology Center.
Short distances – more trust
Every week, eight patients diagnosed with prostate cancer sit opposite two specialists from the fields of urology and oncology in a separate outpatient clinic. “Patients have more trust when doctors agree,” says Ferdinand Luger, one of the center’s directors.
Those cases that are complex and for which more than one treatment approach makes sense are discussed in the special outpatient clinic on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments can be made via the urological secretariat (on 0732 7676-4610). If necessary, a radiation therapist will also be present during the consultation.
“For those affected, this specifically means that they have to attend fewer appointments. The patient is informed about the best treatment during the first consultation, in which the perspectives of the various disciplines are already taken into account,” said David Kiesl, second director of the center. This saves those affected a few trips within the hospital.
Patients see benefits
In the case of urinary bladder cancer, the patient was initially treated in the oncology department until at some point he was transferred to urology for follow-up care. “Thanks to the new structure, several specialist departments are now involved from the start,” said Kiesl and added: “The patients also notice that the joint work works well. They feel better looked after.”
The clinic not only uses modern technology and medical expertise. Nutritional advice, psychological support and pain management are also an integral part of the program. “We all learn from each other. Every patient benefits from the cooperation,” said primary radiation expert Hans Geinitz.
Well accompanied in the hospital
A specially trained “cancer nurse” is also available to assist those affected. She accompanies patients during therapy, gives tips on promoting independence during treatment and explains possible side effects.
A lot has changed in cancer treatment in the last few decades: While previously surgery was carried out first and then chemo, today the process is often the other way round. This has the advantage that very small metastases disappear in advance. The doctors also see which therapy “works” for the respective tumor type and which does not.
Certification of the center is planned this year. “The strict criteria have been proven to lead to better prognoses and patients live longer,” said Urology Primary Professor Thomas Höfner.
Figures on prostate cancer
- 5000 Austrians are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. This corresponds to around a quarter of all tumor diseases in men. Prostate cancer rarely occurs before the age of 50.
- 45 years: Annual prostate check-ups should begin at this age. From the age of 18, you should regularly check your testicles for changes.
- 500 new patients with prostate cancer are added to the Linz Order Hospital every year. A total of 10,000 affected people are treated and given aftercare. There are around 70 new patients each year for bladder and kidney cancer. For testicular cancer there are around 50, and for penile cancer there are around three.
- 5 percent is the proportion of women in the center for uro-oncology at the Linz Ordensklinikum. This roughly corresponds to the distribution of these diseases in the population.
- 50 percent of men over 50 suffer from a benign enlargement of the prostate. The disease can be easily treated with medication or surgery may be necessary.
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