PCMC unveils new advanced breast cancer treatment method

PCMC unveils new advanced breast cancer treatment method

(L to R) PCMC Cancer Centre assistant manager Lee Hee Siang , PCMC Breast and Endocrine Surgeon Dr Harjit Kaur, Prime Minister’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and PCMC CEO Chong Yee Mun during the launch of the IORT breast cancer treatment at PCMC, Kuala Lumpur. — Sunpix by Amirul Syafiq Mohd Din

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prince Court Medical Centre (PCMC) today introduced a new and advanced breast cancer treatment, namely the Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT), as part of its commitment in providing the best in cancer treatment services.

The ceremony was officiated by Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, the wife of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PCMC chief executive Chong Yee Mun said providing advanced treatment therapies and options has positioned PCMC as a key healthcare facility for increasing medical tourism opportunities.

“More cancer patients are surviving and are living longer with the advancement in technology and treatment, creating a greater need for cancer services,” he said in his speech during the launch of PCMC’s IORT, here.

“We want to play a key role in providing our community with increased choices and greater access to the best cancer treatment options.

“PCMC aims to have the capacity to serve more patients with our expanded cancer centre,“ he added.

PCMC Breast & Endocrine surgeon Dr Harjit Kaur said 1 in 10 women in the world will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. But what shocked her is that many of her breast cancer patients are in their 20s.

“In the past most people tend to think that breast cancer only occurs in older women.

“So a lot of young women don’t think it is important to actually do their screening and check-up because they don’t think it can happen to them.

“But this is where they are wrong and we are trying to encourage all women aged above 25 to start having a little bit more breast awareness,” she said.

She encouraged women who are 25 and above to do regular checks, self breast examination and an ultra-sound once a year, as these are a really good investments for health.

IORT is a targeted, risk-adapted interdisciplinary treatment of cancer tumours, which is suitable for breast cancer stages one and two. It enables individual treatment of tumours, ensuring that the skin and its deeper structures are protected.

Targeted IORT is an individualised radiation treatment that delivers low-energy X-rays directly into the tumour bed at the time of surgery (immediately following a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy).

It offers a shorter duration and exposure to radiation therapy, compared to external beam radiation therapy, thus minimizing side effects often associated with conventional radio therapy for breast cancer treatment.

The treatment is a less invasive breast conserving surgery that offers better account of individual risk factors of the patients and provides a significantly more comfortable treatment for patients.

During the procedure, the Zeiss INTRABEAM machine delivers the radiation dose through a spherical-shaped applicator, which is placed in the cavity to ensure direct contact with the targeted tissue.

Radiation is delivered precisely to the area with the highest risk of tumour recurrence, while minimising radiation to healthy tissue. The one-time radiation treatment takes 20-45 minutes to deliver, depending on the size of the cavity. Most patients do not need supplemental radiation following IORT.

The patients overall time spent in the hospital receiving treatment is drastically reduced.

This allows patients to return to their normal routine, hence enhancing their overall quality of life.

Source: The Sun Daily