The move towards more patient-centred care is to enhance clinical outcome, among others. National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) shares more information.
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PUTTING THE PATIENT AT THE CENTRE
A few patients have been put on the Preoperative Breast Cancer Programme since it started in October 2014. A dedicated nurse clinician coordinates the patient’s care journey, ensuring that her needs, investigations and treatment are efficiently and smoothly carried out, said
Dr Benita Tan, Senior Consultant,
SingHealth Duke-NUS Breast Centre. “This expedites patient care as it avoids redundancies and improves waiting times for treatment, and is a huge benefit for our patients,” said Dr Tan.
SingHealth Group is redesigning the way health care is provided, and the set-up of the Breast Centre brings specialists with different expertise together. The Breast Centre functions as a multidisciplinary team where breast surgeons work closely with medical and radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists, rehabilitation therapists, nurses and medical social workers from Singapore General Hospital and NCCS.
“We are essentially putting the patient in the middle and placing a whole medical team that will adequately address her needs around her,” said
Dr Ong Kong Wee, Head and Senior Consultant, SingHealth Duke-NUS Breast Centre.
METHODS USED FOR DESTROYING BREAST CANCER CELLS
To treat breast cancer, one or a combination of treatments may be used, depending on the type and severity of the disease and other factors.
- Anti-cancer drugs, often given through an injection, are used to kill cancer cells.
- The drugs circulate in the blood.
- Mastectomy, where the entire breast is removed.
- Lumpectomy, where just the tumour is removed.
- High energy x-rays are used to kill cancer cells.
- It is a local treatment to the chest wall that sometimes includes the lymph nodes.
- Some breast cancer cells have unique proteins, and targeted therapies, like the use of the drug trastuzumab (commercially known as Herceptin), specifically attack these cells.
- Unlike chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapies can destroy cancer cells with minimal effect on healthy cells.
- The female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, can promote the growth of some breast cancers.
- Hormone therapy, like the drug tamoxifen, acts to block the action of oestrogen.
- Works best for patients with such cancers.