Cancer is caused by the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells of the body. Cancer can afflict any age group and can occur in almost any part of the body. Tobacco consumption is the leading cause of cancer worldwide. Other causes are alcohol abuse, infections like HIV, HPV, hepatitis B&C, obesity, UV exposure, genetic factors, etc. In Kenya, 47,000 new cancers are diagnosed every year and 33,000 succumb to it.
Cancer is best managed by a doctor trained in oncology. She/he is called an Oncologist. A medical oncologist is the one who evaluates a patient and plans chemotherapy for a patient. For treating cancer pathological proof of cancer is a MUST! Either a needle test called FNAC or a biopsy is done to confirm malignancy (cancer). Blood tests and various imaging tests like ultrasound, CT, MRI, PET-CT, mammogram, etc. are performed to know the stage of cancer. Managing cancer is multi-disciplinary: a team of doctors is involved: medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists along with radiologists and pathologists.
SERVICES AT MEDIHEAL GROUP OF HOSPITALS
Medical oncology services are available at all three branches of Mediheal in Kenya: Eldoret, Nakuru, and Nairobi. All types of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and supportive care are undertaken. Standard guidelines from world-renowned bodies like ASCO, ESMO, NCCN, etc. are followed.
In locally advanced cancers chemotherapy is given before surgery to shrink cancer to enable adequate surgery. This is called Neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy that is given after surgery, as a way to prevent a recurrence, is called Adjuvant chemotherapy. In patients where cure is not possible, chemotherapy is given to lessen the burden of symptoms. This is called Palliative chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is done by trained nurses in pleasant surroundings. Apart from chemotherapy, the following services are also available: pain management, therapeutic procedures like paracentesis and intercostal tube insertion, pleurodesis, intrathecal chemotherapy. Apart from chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy of cancers are also undertaken.