Most cells in the human body are regularly renewed. Errors sometimes creep into this process. Normally, the cell corrects these errors or dies.
When repair mechanisms are disrupted, cells are likely to start multiplying uncontrollably. It usually takes a series of genetic changes to turn healthy cells into cancerous cells and takes several years, partly due to the progressive weakening of the body’s defense mechanisms.
Treatment for cancer is aimed at destroying the cancer cells and preventing them from growing.
Some treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy, provide local control of the disease by acting directly on the tumor or cancerous areas.
Others, called systemic or general oncology treatments in Switzerland, act on the entire body. These include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, molecular targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
Very often, the therapeutic strategy for oncology treatment in Switzerland offered to the patient includes a combination of several treatment methods. The complementary action of different approaches is aimed at achieving maximum effectiveness in each situation.
Very often, cancer patients do not respond equally to standard cancer therapies. This is due to many factors, including genetic and/or epigenetic in each individual patient. Hence, there is a need for personalized treatment that takes into account the individuality of each patient.
Advances in human genome decoding research now provide much more precise knowledge about the genetic profile of patients and malignancies. This information allows a better understanding of the development of different types of cancer and the identification of targeted oncology treatments in Switzerland that take into account the individual characteristics of each individual and his or her disease.
Molecular targeted therapies and immunotherapies are part of these new personalized therapeutic approaches. They are currently offered to patients for the treatment of certain cancers, and research is underway to expand their protocols for other forms of the disease.
In recent decades, significant progress has been made in all forms of oncology treatment in Switzerland. Today, doctors are able to perform surgeries and radiation therapy that are much more precise and sparing for the patient than 30 years ago, which has reduced the side effects of treatment and increased the chances of success.
Targeted therapies have been developed over the past 20 years.
In order to make a diagnosis when cancer is suspected, the physician must carefully examine the patient. For this purpose, Swiss oncologists have various diagnostic methods at their disposal, among them :
If detected at an early stage, the cancer is more likely to be treated. The earlier the disease is detected, the better the chances of cure. Regular checkups can significantly reduce the risk of developing various serious diseases, including cancer.
At our Health and Prevention Center, we offer cancer preventive check-up
Cancers are classified according to different criteria: the site of development (e.g. bowel or breast cancer), the tissue from which the cancer cells originate (e.g. adenocarcinoma developing from glandular tissue), and other characteristics such as genetic characteristics.
Depending on the classification used, between 100 and 200 different cancers are now recognized.
Over the years, genetic and molecular technologies have made it possible to distinguish more precisely between the different types of cancer. Once a patient is diagnosed, therapies specifically tailored to his or her type of cancer are offered, thereby greatly increasing the chances of successful treatment.
The four most common types of cancer (prostate, breast, colon, lung) account for half of all newly diagnosed cancer cases.
In men, prostate cancer accounts for almost a third (29%) of all cancers.
In women, breast cancer also accounts for one-third (33%) of new cases.
Colorectal cancer (11% in men and 10% in women).
Lung cancer (12% in men, 9% in women).
Why are some forms of cancer more common than others? There is no simple answer to this question because the development of cancer depends on many different factors. Generally, cancer develops more often in organs whose cells are exposed to external influences – the air we breathe (lungs) or food (intestines). Organs whose cells are rapidly renewed (e.g., in the mucous membranes in the intestinal mucosa or the upper layers of the skin) are also more vulnerable. Hormonal influences also play an important role, e.g. in breast cancer or prostate cancer.
Approximately 90% of female breast cancer patients have a good chance of being cured, provided the disease is detected at an early stage.
Ultrasound and mammography are used to detect breast cancer early, followed by biopsy if necessary.
After successful treatment, the patient should undergo regular checkups for several years.
A healthy lifestyle, regular physical activity and a sensible diet reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
The treatment protocol for cancer in Switzerland depends on the size, type of cancer and stage of the disease.
In men, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer. In fact, 29% of cancers in men are prostate cancer. If the disease is detected early, there is a 90% chance of cure. Therefore, it is advisable to get screenings to detect prostate cancer as early as possible and treat it effectively.
Two methods of examination are used for early detection of prostate cancer: digital rectal examination and PSA blood test.
Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer and occurs mostly in people over the age of 50. Treatment consists of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
Women are almost as likely to get colon cancer as men. From the age of 50, the risk increases significantly. Colon cancer develops almost exclusively from small polyps called intestinal polyps. Preventive screening exams for people at high risk are therefore extremely important. They allow polyps to be removed at an early stage.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer develops for a long time without symptoms or pain. The main signs of possible colorectal cancer are
– The desire to go to the bathroom without being able to do so
– Alternating episodes of constipation and diarrhea
– Blood in the stools
– Weight loss and fatigue may also be common symptoms of a colorectal tumor.
Abdominal pain is rarely seen in colorectal cancer.
If these symptoms occur, the patient should see a doctor.
Colon cancer is diagnosed by colonoscopy. In case of suspicious changes, tissue samples may be taken to determine the presence of cancer. Small polyps of the colon can be removed directly during the colonoscopy.
Treatment depends on the stage of the disease. If colon cancer is detected at an early stage, its removal offers a good chance of recovery. The prerequisite is that the tumor has not yet spread into the intestine and there are no metastases.
In advanced cases, surgery is combined with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and possibly targeted therapy.
Lung cancer (bronchial cancer or lung carcinoma) is the second most common cancer in men and the third most common in women. Of all cancers, lung cancer has the highest number of deaths.
Smoking and secondhand smoke are by far the most important risk factors for lung cancer. Other known risk factors are radon, a radioactive noble gas naturally present in the ground and inhaled by humans, and fine particulate air pollution.
In its early stages, lung cancer is usually asymptomatic. Therefore, many tumors are only discovered during routine examinations or at a late stage.
Persistent symptoms (more than four weeks), such as persistent cough, phlegm, shortness of breath, hoarseness, and chest pain, should be a reason to see your doctor.
If you cough up blood, or if you cough up bloody sputum, you should see a doctor immediately. Severe fatigue, weight loss and loss of energy can also be common symptoms of cancer.
Lung cancer is diagnosed on the basis of X-rays, bronchoscopy and CT scans.
Lung cancer treatment varies depending on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease. If surgical removal of the tumor is possible, this will be done first. The decision to have surgery depends on the location of the tumor and the patient’s general health.
Non-small cell lung cancer can usually be operated on, whereas small cell lung carcinoma is likely to have metastasized by the time it is found. In this case, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are preferred. A combination of different forms of treatment is also often used.
Despite the fact that new medications have made lung cancer treatment possible, if the disease is detected at a late stage, it can often only be treated palliatively.
Cancer treatment in Switzerland at the Health and Prevention Center in Geneva
You may contact us for preventive checkups or for a second opinion when you have symptoms and for treatment.
According to the World Health Organization, infertility is characterized by the absence of pregnancy after twelve months of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
The causes of infertility are varied and often combine several different factors:
In men – reduced sperm count. The amount of sperm in a man changes over time; the sperm production cycle lasts about three months. Decreased sperm quality will not necessarily affect the couple’s fertility. Lower sperm quality can also be compensated for by a highly fertile woman.
In women, the cause of infertility can be :
Male and female fertility changes naturally over time. The number of sperm cells in sperm fluctuates on a pendulum principle. Similarly, ovulation can be erratic and does not always occur at the same time of the menstrual cycle.
“There are also some additional methods, such as acupuncture to regulate cycle irregularities.
The cause-and-effect relationship between lower sperm quality and fertility has not yet been proven. However, there is one recommendation that everyone agrees on. Men should avoid the greenhouse effect, especially that created by tight pants and tight boxers. This has a proven effect on sperm production by the testicles.
Stress and moods can affect fertility. But it is difficult to determine whether infertility is the cause or consequence of an altered emotional state.
All infertility treatments in Switzerland are reserved for heterosexual couples.
Surrogacy and ovocyte donation are not permitted in Switzerland (sperm donation is, however, possible).
Fertility treatment in Switzerland by in vitro fertilization is not permitted for same-sex couples or singles.
Swiss law prohibits the selection of embryos based on gender or other physical characteristics.
Based on these examinations and discussions, a fertility treatment strategy will be developed in Switzerland tailored to your individual case.
In-vitro fertilization is the most common fertility treatment option in Switzerland. With this method, the fertilization of eggs does not take place in the woman’s body, but in a laboratory.
If the quality of a man’s sperm is reduced, a similar method called ICSI is used, which differs from IVF only in the way the sperm is inserted into the egg.
To be eligible for IVF or ICSI infertility treatment in Switzerland the following conditions must be met:
The success rate of infertility treatment in Switzerland depends on the age of the woman and her individual egg supply. Between 35 and 40 years of age, the chances of success halve.
Three tests are performed at the screening stage to pinpoint the individual oocyte reserve:
Based on these results, your doctor can give you a relatively accurate assessment of your chances of success in infertility treatment in Switzerland and the possibility of realizing your dream of becoming a parent.
If the quality of the sperm is good, the success rate of ICSI is comparable to traditional IVF treatment. However, ICSI avoids the oocyte fertilization failures that sometimes occur with traditional IVF, even with normal sperm test results.
If a man’s fertility is limited or if previous insemination or IVF procedures have failed, ICSI is always used to treat infertility in Switzerland.
IVF is currently the most widespread and most effective assisted reproduction and infertility treatment method in Switzerland. It accounts for around half of all infertility treatments.
It is particularly indicated in cases of fallopian tube problems, endometriosis, male infertility (insufficient sperm count and motility) or when other treatment methods have failed. IVF reproduces in the laboratory what happens naturally in the fallopian tubes: fertilization (meeting of the egg and sperm) and the first stages of embryo development. The embryo is then placed in the uterus.
The first stage of IVF is ovarian stimulation. The patient is prescribed hormones to help the ovaries produce multiple eggs: this phase lasts an average of 10 days. When the eggs are ready (according to ultrasound results and hormonal blood parameters), the woman receives another hormone to complete oocyte maturation.
After about 35 hours, the oocytes are retrieved: this second stage is performed in the operating room under local or general anesthesia. During the procedure, the oocytes contained in the follicles are aspirated using a needle inserted transvaginally into the ovary under ultrasound monitoring.
The follicular liquid tube and the oocytes thus collected are then sent to the lab in a container at 37°C. They are placed in an incubator that reproduces conditions similar to those that exist in the fallopian tube. The sperm is collected the same day. The sperms are prepared in order to select the most motile and fertile ones. Then, during classic IVF, several thousand sperm are placed next to each egg in a culture medium. This is all placed back in the incubator, and fertilization occurs by itself.
If sperm quality is insufficient or spontaneous fertilization is at risk, embryologists or technicians use an IVF option called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). This involves selecting a motile sperm and injecting it directly into the oocyte using a micropipette.
The embryos remain in the incubator for about five to six days. Embryologists then identify the embryos that have the best chance of pregnancy. One or sometimes two embryos are transferred to the uterus. This is a painless and quick procedure.
Additional embryos that are not used immediately are frozen so that they can be used if needed for another infertility treatment attempt in Switzerland or for the birth of a second child.
This method aims to induce ovulation in patients whose ovulation does not occur spontaneously. The woman is prescribed hormones (pills or injections) to stimulate her ovaries, as before IVF.
The goal is to stimulate follicle growth to produce one or two mature oocytes. Sexual intercourse is then scheduled at the time of ovulation.
This method is indicated for sexual dysfunction, a moderate decrease in the number or motility of sperm, and in the absence of an underlying cause of infertility. The doctor determines the time of ovulation in advance with a vaginal ultrasound and blood tests.
On the appointed day, about two hours before insemination, sperm is collected from the spouse (by masturbation). The sperms are then prepared in the lab and the most mobile ones are placed in the uterine cavity of the woman through a flexible tube (catheter) passing through her cervix.
This shortens the sperm’s path and prevents it from passing through the cervical mucus. This painless procedure takes only a few minutes.
Artificial insemination does not always result in pregnancy, and the unrealized desire to have a child can have psychological consequences for desperate couples. Therefore, before any treatment, the doctor always seeks to discuss fears, concerns, and expectations with the couple.
Infertility examinations at the Health and Prevention Center in Geneva
Detox is a deep cleansing of the body.
Together with food, we get a lot of toxins in our body.
Toxins have a negative impact on our health.
The environment (air, water, pollution, stress, smoking), our bad eating habits (too much bad fats, not enough fiber), food which increasingly contains preservatives and pesticides, cause a significant accumulation of toxins in our body, the elimination of which the body can not cope with and eventually it leads to lower immunity, weight gain, insomnia, digestive and skin problems, chronic fatigue, recurrent rhinitis and sinusitis, allergies, etc.
In addition to various toxins and pesticides, heavy metals enter our body through food, water, and to a lesser extent through the respiratory system, having toxic, allergic, carcinogenic, and gonadotropic effects.
Heavy metals can affect the nervous system, kidneys, liver, and respiratory functions. Exceeding the thresholds of these harmful substances is implicated in severe pathologies such as multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, kidney failure, diabetes, psychological and neurological disorders, and cancer.
Symptoms can vary and vary depending on the individual and their background. The most common signs are chronic fatigue, headaches, joint and muscle pain, psychological disorders (irritability, depression, emotional instability), digestive disorders (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting), flu-like symptoms, allergic reactions, food intolerance, heart rhythm disorders, sleep disorders, etc.
In order to restore balance and unload the body of accumulated toxins, it is necessary to perform a detox therapy, which will allow the body to cleanse itself by stimulating the main excretion pathways, which are the renal and hepatic pathways. The detox program allows you to cleanse the digestive and circulatory systems, freeing the body and giving it new energy.
To cleanse the body of heavy metals, we have included a special procedure in our Detox program – chelation (chelation therapy). It is a process in which an organic substance (chelating agent) binds to minerals or ionized metals and removes them from the body.
Thanks to the procedures for cleansing the body in our medical center and further implementation of recommendations to optimize your lifestyle, diet and exercise, you will feel a burst of energy, improve your well-being and health in general.
Switzerland is the country with the most developed sphere of medical services in Europe. Our clinics are distinguished by high European standards of treatment in Switzerland. They are equipped with all the necessary equipment for a full comprehensive examination and further treatment in Switzerland.
HPC HEALTH AND PREVENTION CENTER Geneva will find for you the medical center in Switzerland, specializing in the treatment of your illness. The best specialists from swiss clinics are at your service.
Our country has great medical potential, and offers patients a wide range of medical services and technologies for treatment in Switzerland. According to WHO, the Swiss public health system is one of the best and most efficient in the world. Switzerland offers an excellent network of private hospitals, whose physicians hold FHM or equivalent diplomas. The level of technology and medical services for treatment in private hospitals in Switzerland is extremely high. Cooperation between various private clinics and public hospitals allows clinics to offer patients a full range of modern medicine and technology.
Treatment in Switzerland is a great alternative for those, for whom in their residential country, doctors failed to render required medical treatment. The advantages of treatment in Switzerland are obvious: highly qualified doctors, state-of-the-art technologies, perfect diagnostics, certified medicines, high level of comfort and service.
Patient satisfaction with treatment in Switzerland is an important indicator of hospital quality. It mainly reflects patients’ perception of treatment quality, medical results as well as the competence and friendliness of the staff. In addition to the high level of medicine, Swiss hospitals also offer their patients a high level of comfort (good food and nice rooms). Thanks to all the above mentioned reasons, treatment in Switzerland gives excellent results.
Patient satisfaction with treatment in Switzerland is measured by the National Association for the Promotion of Quality in Hospitals and Clinics with its standardized questionnaire. These measurements can be considered the most reliable and comprehensive in Switzerland. After hospitalization, patients are asked to fill in a questionnaire on the quality of treatment in Switzerland.
The website of the British newspaper The Telegraph published a Euro Health Consumer Index ranking evaluating the effectiveness of European health systems in 2018. The study ranked thirty-five countries according to forty-six indicators grouped under six main headings: patient rights and information, waiting times, treatment effectiveness, range of services offered, prevention and pharmaceuticals (in particular access to new modern medicines).
Switzerland took first place among all European countries – which is not surprising, since the country invests heavily in its health care system. Switzerland is the only country where everything is done right in terms of information, patient rights and accessibility – for example, the shortest waiting times and direct access to specialists. The Swiss health care system is also distinguished by the efficiency of treatment (e.g., oncology). Basic (compulsory) health insurance covers outpatient treatment in Switzerland, emergency care, abortions, vaccinations, rehabilitation and medication. The Swiss have a record life expectancy of 82.9 years on average. In short, by scoring the highest number of points, Switzerland has the best score in the ranking.
Treatment in Switzerland presupposes direct access to the most advanced diagnostic methods. And, as we know, correctly diagnosed is the key to successful treatment. Quite a short time ago treatment in Switzerland was accessible only to the elite. Today the situation has changed and foreign patients can appreciate the professionalism of Swiss doctors. Of course, it is impossible not to mention the highest level of service at foreign recovery centres. Treatment in Switzerland offers comfortable and convenient wards, exceptionally caring and attentive medical personnel, and highly professional care. The most convincing indicator of the level of medical services development is life expectancy of people in this or that country. Japan, Switzerland, France, Canada and Andorra lead the way.
Skin cancer is the presence of abnormal cells in the skin that multiply uncontrollably and form a carcinoma. Depending on the type of cancer, these cells may remain localized in the skin, so-called “in situ” or localized cancer, or metastasize to lymph nodes close to the tumor or even to other organs (invasive melanomas).
Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, which are the most serious?
The nonmelanoma carcinoma family includes two types: basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. These two types of skin cancer are the most common.
The third type of skin cancer, the most dangerous, is melanoma; it develops from melanocytes in the skin.
– Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinomas develop from the epidermis. They are the most common of all skin cancers. There are several variants: the superficial form, the modular form, and the infiltrating form. These types of skin cancers develop mostly in people who are exposed to a lot of sun ultraviolet light and form on areas that are exposed to the sun. These carcinomas often occur on the face, arms, back, etc. Fortunately, they are the most curable of all skin cancers. It develops very slowly and never metastasizes.
– Squamous cell skin cancer or squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinomas develop from keratinocytes (squamous skin cells) and are more aggressive skin cancers than basal cell carcinomas because they, although rare (1% of cases), can metastasize. This disease accounts for 20% of skin cancers. They are directly related to ultraviolet light, but especially affect fair-haired and fair-skinned people. Sometimes it develops on so-called precancerous lesions – actinic keratoses. It can also appear on burn scars or chronic wounds.
Melanoma accounts for about 10% of skin cancers, but it is a serious cancer that can occur at any age, but is more likely to develop in people who received sunburns in childhood, before the age of eight. In most cases, melanoma develops gradually on a perfectly healthy skin surface, in the form of a small pigmented spot. But it can also develop, in about 15-20% of cases, from a simple mole (nevus) that begins to transform. Melanomas are classified according to their thickness: when they are less than 0.8 millimeters thick, they are not very aggressive, from 1 to 2 millimeters thick they are intermediate, and when they are over 2 millimeters thick, they are the most aggressive.
Melanomas are cancerous tumors that form from the cells responsible for coloring the skin and eyes. In 90% of cases, melanomas occur on the skin, but they can also appear in the mouth, nose, sinuses, and rectum, as well as on the genitals. They can occur at any age. Melanomas make up 10% of skin cancers, but are the most dangerous because they can progress quickly.
Superficially spreading melanoma is the most common form of melanoma (70-80% of all cases). It is mostly associated with sunburns in childhood, especially in fair-skinned people. Superficial extensive melanoma appears as an irregular brown or black patch on the neck, chest, and legs. It gradually enlarges over several years and then changes rapidly when it begins to sprout deep into the skin.
Dubreuil’s melanoma, which accounts for 5 to 10% of melanomas, is most common in people over 50 years of age and begins with the appearance of a brown spot on the face, neck, or back of the hands. Like extensive superficial melanoma, it grows first on the surface and then penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. It is associated with overexposure to sunlight.
Acral lentiginous melanoma is more commonly seen in people with very dark or black skin. In the form of a spot or nodule, it usually develops in the area of the nail bed, on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under the fingernails. It can easily be confused with a wart or callus.
Nodular melanoma accounts for 10-15% of melanomas. It appears as a normal or dark-colored spot raised above the rest of the skin. This type of skin cancer most commonly occurs on the head, scalp, neck, or torso (but can appear anywhere on the skin, even if it is protected from the sun). It grows quickly and tends to sprout immediately deep into the skin without spreading to the surface.
Melanomas arise from a few cancer cells that appear on the surface of the skin when exposed to ultraviolet light. These cells then multiply, and after a while begin to rapidly invade the deeper layers of the skin, at which point the melanoma becomes invasive. In the invasive form of this type of skin cancer, and if untreated, the cancer cells gradually migrate through the lymph flow and bloodstream, then settle and multiply in the liver, lungs, bones, brain, etc. These secondary tumors are called metastases.
An unusual mole, a spot on the skin that has changed color, a pimple that won’t go away. A careful skin exam can help you detect skin cancer at an early stage. As a preventive measure, it is recommended that you visit your dermatologist once a year to examine all areas of your body, including those that you cannot see yourself.
There are dozens of moles on our bodies. While most are benign, some can be cancerous, so it’s important to keep an eye on them. How can you tell a normal mole from a melanoma?
Self-monitoring of your skin condition contributes to the early detection of lesions caused by skin cancer.
The diagnosis of skin cancer involves a clinical examination of the skin and microscopic analysis of a sample of the suspected lesion.
When examining a patient’s skin, the dermatologist may use a special device called a dermatoscope, which allows you to see through the most superficial layer of skin. Or use a lamp that emits ultraviolet light – a Wood’s lamp – to look for abnormal pigmentation in the skin.
If the lesion seems suspicious, the dermatologist will remove it and a few millimeters around the lesion under local anesthesia and send it to the lab for microscopic analysis, and close the wound with one or two stitches.
At our Health and Prevention Center, in Geneva, we perform skin cancer tests with a more accurate machine than a dermatoscope. We’re talking about a confocal microscope. A machine that allows us to image a single skin cell. This method allows us to study the epidermis, the papillary layer of the dermis and the resolution of the upper reticular layer of the dermis is comparable to histology, therefore, there is no need to dissect tissue for biopsy. Read more…
If the analysis confirms it is a cancerous lesion, your doctor will decide to do additional tests to look for possible metastases: blood tests, ultrasound of adjacent lymph nodes, CT scan, MRI, etc.
– Treatment for skin cancer, and melanoma in particular, varies depending on the stage of its development. The main method of treatment for skin cancer is surgical excision of the tumor and possibly the affected lymph nodes, as well as medications.
– Chemotherapy, to block the reproduction of abnormal cells.
– Immunotherapy, to stimulate the immune defense of the patient.
– Targeted therapy, which targets the abnormal protein in cancer cells.
– Radiation therapy, irradiation, used only to treat metastases.
– Treatment of basal cell carcinomas, cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas, and actinic keratoses (precancerous lesions) is not much different from treatment of melanomas and also primarily involves surgery.
If surgery is not possible, the doctor may also prescribe :
– Cryotherapy (destruction of the lesion with liquid nitrogen);
– Electrocoagulation (electric scalpel or laser, as in the treatment of warts);
– Localized radiation therapy;
– Immunostimulant cream for several weeks;
– Dynamic phototherapy (the lesion site is exposed to a specific spectrum of light after sensitization with a drug).
– Frequent exposure to the sun
The role of sun exposure in the development of skin cancer is well known. Although the vast majority of patients are aware of the harmful effects of sun exposure, few take preventative safety measures. On average, 6 out of 10 skin cancers are known to be directly related to excessive exposure to UVA and UVB rays, the latter causing mutations in cell genes and the latter altering cell membranes and nuclei. Alternating winter breaks from sunbathing and then a strong summer tan creates an additional risk of skin cancer.
– Excessive sun exposure as a child
Sunburns as a child are associated with the development of pigmented nevi, which can later cause the risk of melanoma.
– Tanning in a tanning bed
Many studies point to an increased risk of developing skin cancer when using tanning beds for tanning. Tanning beds are even prohibited for children under the age of 18 because their skin is especially fragile.
– Familial predisposition
Approximately 10% of malignant melanomas occur in a family whose members have had 2 melanomas within 3 generations. That’s why family members who already have melanoma should be very vigilant – systematically check the condition of their skin with a dermatologist and limit their exposure to the sun.
–Number of moles
The presence of a large number of moles (50 or more) is a risk factor. Every odd mole (large, irregularly shaped, pinkish-brown in color) should be under medical supervision.
– Medical exposure and medication
People who have had a large number of radiation therapy sessions or exams with radiation tend to be at greater risk for skin cancer. In addition, in rare cases, certain medications may contribute to the development of carcinoma (your doctor should warn you about this when prescribing the medication).
– Phenotype (skin type)
People with fair skin are more likely to develop skin cancer when exposed to sunlight because of their relative lack of pigmentation.
See your doctor if :
If you have unusual skin lesions, a pinkish spot on your face, a modified mole, or if it itches, you should see a dermatologist. Particular caution should be exercised by people with very fair skin and those with many birthmarks.
Skin cancer is curable in certain cases:
– If it is not melanoma
– If it is detected at an early stage and it is not metastatic
In rare cases, skin cancer will metastasize. But it can happen with melanoma or, in even rarer cases, squamous cell carcinoma. Fortunately, new treatments are increasing survival rates for metastatic skin cancer.
– The first step is to use protective creams and apply them every 2 hours when out in the sun. Preferably, the sun protection factor should be higher than 30. Do not forget to apply sunscreen even if you are already sunburned.
– It is very important for children to wear clothes in the sun up to the age of 8. In addition, it is important to avoid exposure from 12 to 5 p.m.
– Any change in the skin that does not go away, a wound that has not healed, a pimple that does not go away, should be consulted, because the sooner cancer treatment is started, the better the chances of a cure.
At our Medical Center in Geneva, you can also undergo a non-surgical skin cancer consultation.
The duodenum is the part of the digestive tract between the stomach and the small intestine.
Duodenal cancer is very rare compared to stomach and colon cancer (less than 2% of digestive tumors).
– Duodenal polyps (benign neoplasms that can eventually develop into duodenal cancer)
– Malignant cancerous tumors.
The vast majority of duodenal cancers are adenocarcinoma, a cancerous tumor that develops from the cells of the mucosa lining the duodenum.
One particular form of duodenal cancer that causes narrowing of the bile ducts affects the Vater’s ampulla. Vater’s ampulla is located on the wall of the duodenum and allows bile and enzymes necessary for digestion to pass through. A cancerous growth in this area necessarily leads to difficulty digesting fats and can cause fever and symptoms of jaundice.
Duodenal cancer is a serious and life-threatening disease.
The causes of duodenal cancer are not fully understood. It is believed that they may be related to :
– Excessive smoking
– A diet too rich in saturated fats (cancer is more common in obese people) and vice versa
– Pathology, such as coeliac disease
– Systematic digestive difficulties, sudden aversion to meat and alcohol
– Stomach pains
– Lack of appetite and weight loss
– Sometimes the patient experiences pain in the abdomen above the navel. If duodenal cancer is at an advanced stage, it causes bleeding (traces of blood can be seen in vomit or in stools)
Diagnosis of duodenal cancer requires a comprehensive examination that includes :
– Endoscopic examination of the duodenum (gastroduodenoscopy) + biopsy of the material obtained
– Ultrasound examination
– Sometimes other examinations are performed to rule out other pathologies
Gastrointestinal examinations at the Health and Prevention Center (in Geneva).
The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, its location, metastases to neighboring organs, the patient’s age, comorbidities, medical and family history.
Treatment for duodenal cancer is mostly surgical. The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor. The duodenum is located in the digestive system, at the intersection of the bile and pancreatic ducts. In addition, numerous blood vessels are concentrated nearby. All this makes the surgical procedure quite complicated. After removal of the duodenal cancer, the surgeon must transplant the bile and pancreatic ducts into a loop of small intestine to restore continuity to the digestive tract. This allows the digestive system to continue functioning. Sometimes parts of adjacent organs are partially removed if cancer cells are thought to have metastasized there.
In some cases, the patient cannot be operated on. Special duodenal prostheses are now available. These prostheses are offered when duodenal cancer is already at an advanced stage. They provide an outflow of bile, especially if the tumor affects Vater’s ampulla. These prostheses are inserted endoscopically. This surgical treatment is often combined with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is used to destroy tumor cells that were not destroyed during surgery. Chemotherapy may also be offered before surgery to shrink the size of the tumor.
Sometimes radiotherapy is also offered to the patient as an adjunct to the initial treatment.
At our Health and Prevention Center (in Geneva) you can be screened for duodenal cancer and check your overall gastrointestinal health.
After the check-up the doctors of our medical center will prescribe the necessary treatment, if necessary.
Make an appointment by calling +41 22 840 33 34 or in Moscow +7 903 720 80 57
The group of cancers of the upper digestive tract includes such diseases as
Lip cancer accounts for about 15% of oral cancers.
Lip cancer mostly affects either the mucous membrane of the lower lip or the red border of the lips.
This type of cancer is usually preceded by a precancerous condition that appears as an ulcer or white lesion (leukoplakia or cheilitis inflammatory lip). In most cases it is a hardened lesion that bleeds on contact and can be either painless or uncomfortable.
Among the most common pre-cancerous conditions of the lip, keratotic white lesions are the most common. Early treatment should prevent its degeneration.
Malignant growths in the corners of the mouth have similar characteristics to inner-cheek cancers and skin cancers.
Most cases of lip cancer are squamous cell carcinomas, which occur mostly on the lower lip, on the red border of the lips, or on the upper part of the mucosa (much less often on the white lip). On the mucous membrane side, salivary gland carcinomas also occur.
Basal cell carcinomas are less common and usually develop on the skin of the upper lip.
Their treatment is similar to other upper-lip cancers and includes a search for secondary cancers.
Other malignant tumors of the lip are less common, among which melanomas (and its precancerous condition, Dubreuil melanoma in situ) predominate. Their diagnosis and therapy are identical to the diagnosis and therapy of cutaneous or mucosal melanomas of other localizations. Other cancers occur on the lips, particularly Merkel’s tumor and dermatofibrosarcoma of Darié and Ferrand.
Like other cancers, such as tongue cancer, lip cancer is contributed to :
– Smoking, especially pipes or cigarettes that are smoked all the way through
– Excessive consumption of alcohol
– Poor oral hygiene
– Local trauma and chronic irritation
– Climatic conditions (working in the sun with no lip hygiene protection)
However, lip cancer also has specific causes that can be distinguished from those of other ENT cancers. Indeed, the outer part of the lips is exposed to external factors such as the sun’s ultraviolet rays, cold, wind, etc. That is why lip cancer (which is a type of skin cancer) develops mainly in people who are very exposed to these aggressive influences (farmers, fishermen, etc.).
Men are more often affected by lip cancer than women, because they are not used to protecting their lips with appropriate hygiene products.
The diagnosis of malignancy is made on the basis of an anatomopathologic examination after examining a biopsy of the tumor.
In the postoperative situation, several criteria are needed to make a decision about adjuvant therapy:
– Determine the type and size of the tumor
– Whether the tumor has metastasized to muscle, bone, and skin
– Limits of invasion, margins <5 mm, severe dysplasia, carcinoma in situ) with location if possible
Treatment for lip cancer is primarily based on surgery, radiation therapy, or a variation of it, brachytherapy.
In general, if the diagnosis of lip cancer is made at an early stage, the prognosis is very favorable: the 5-year survival rate is 92%.
Surgery performed by an ENT surgeon requires removal of the lesion with a margin of one centimeter of healthy tissue around the lesion, both superficially and deeply. In the case of such surgery, reconstructive surgery is systematically scheduled, especially for lip cancer larger than 3 cm.
In addition, it is sometimes necessary to consider removing nearby lymph nodes. However, because lymph node involvement in lip cancer is less than 10% for stage 1 T1 tumors and only 25% for T2 tumors, simple observation is usually chosen. In contrast, patients with stages N1 and N2 (with lymph node metastases on the same side as the tumor) will require lymph node excision.
Radiation therapy may be required to treat large lip tumors (T3 and T4 stages). However, it is usually used as an adjunct to surgery after removal of the lip cancer and affected lymph nodes.
Brachytherapy with iridium-192 under meth anesthesia may also be administered to the patient. This therapy consists of injecting iridium directly into the tumor. The treatment lasts from 3 to 5 days, the patient must be hospitalized in a separate room. This method gives excellent results for small tumors (stage T1, T2) with a 5-year survival rate of over 90%.
Chemotherapy may be offered in the presence of factors that give a poor prognosis, i.e. stage III and IV.
Stage T4 lip cancer can metastasize to the bone, gums, lower part of the mouth, or skin of the face.
After lip cancer treatment, clinical exams should be done every three months for two years and then every six months for three years to make sure there is no recurrence or lymph node disease or development of secondary cancer.
The patient should be seen by various specialists: an ENT doctor, a dermatologist, and a dentist (or orthodontist).
Oral cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Early detection and observation of certain signs can detect the disease and greatly increase your chances of recovery.
Early diagnosis of all cancers is vital because lip cancer is almost always curable if detected and treated early. Your lips should be checked regularly for skin changes, such as sores, white or red patches, which can be signs of cancer.
See your dentist to have your mouth checked for oral cancer. If your doctor notices any changes or signs of cancer, he or she will take a biopsy and send the material to the lab to look for cancer cells.
Early diagnosis and treatment of melanoma is necessary to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the body. Once diagnosed, your doctor will develop a treatment plan.
At our Health and Prevention Center, you can :
– Be examined by our dentist, and he or she will examine your mouth for an initial diagnosis of lip and oral cancer
– Get diagnosed by one of Europe’s best dermatologists, Professor Ockenfels.
A cancerous tumor, regardless of its location, forms from uncontrollably proliferating cells.
Brain cancer can develop in any area of the brain.
Primary brain cancers account for 1% of all cancers and are the leading cause of cancer deaths. Primary brain cancer forms from brain cells.
There are also secondary brain tumors that arise from metastases of a cancerous entity that originally developed outside the brain (most commonly breast, lung, kidney, or skin cancer). Metastasis is the process by which cancer cells spread through the body to organs other than those originally affected.
These malignant cells spread through the body through the blood. The metastases then reach the brain and usually develop between the gray and white matter.
Most often, glial cells in the brain, called gliomas, are involved in the development of these malignant tumors and may be astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, or glioblastomas.
It should be noted that glioma-type brain cancers never metastasize to other organs.
There are also meningiomas, which are most often benign neoplasms.
About Primary Brain Cancer :
The aggressiveness of the various types of brain cancer is largely due to their location, making it difficult for the standard treatments commonly used to fight cancerous tumors. Typically, these are diffuse tumors, making treatment with surgery or radiation therapy difficult. The use of chemotherapy is complicated by the fact that the drug must cross the blood-brain barrier (of cells that isolate and protect the brain from potential pathogens).
Gliomas: are most commonly malignant tumors. They make up the bulk of brain cancers. These tumors form from glial cells. Glial cells stabilize the environment of neurons. They also isolate neurons, forming the blood-brain barrier. Among gliomas, gliomas are mainly distinguished by :
– Astrocytoma: affects astrocytes, glial cells present in all areas of the brain. The degree of spread of this cancer determines its severity. With grades 1 and 2, the tumor is considered benign and not very diffuse. At grades 3 and 4, the tumor is malignant and infiltrates several areas of the brain. At grade 4, we are no longer talking about an astrocytoma, but a glioblastoma;
– Ependymoma: a mostly benign tumor that affects the ventricles of the brain or the ducts through which the cerebrospinal fluid flows.
-Glioblastoma: it accounts for almost 20% of brain cancers. This malignant tumor develops rapidly and usually spreads to several areas of the brain.
– Oligendroglioma: it develops from oligendrocytes (a type of glial cell). The neoplasm can be located in any area of the brain. Low-differentiated oligendrogliomas grow slowly and are considered benign. Highly differentiated oligendrogliomas, on the other hand, are malignant tumors that grow rapidly.
– Pituitary adenoma: A benign tumor that develops in the pituitary gland. It affects endocrine and visual disturbances.
– Meningioma: usually a benign tumor. Meningiomas can develop in the brain or spinal cord (since both are surrounded by meninges);
– Neuroma : develops in the Schwann cells located in the nerves. Most often, this tumor develops in the brain, more specifically in the auditory nerve. This tumor is often benign.
– Neurofibroma: A benign tumor that can become malignant. It usually affects the auditory nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain.
– Hemangioblastoma: a benign, slow-growing vascular tumor. Often found in the context of a hereditary disease, von Hippel-Lindau disease. Hemangioblastoma is most often found in the posterior cranial fossa, in the cerebellum.
– Pineal tumor: accounts for 3-8% of intracranial neoplasms in children (and 0.4-1% of intracranial tumors in adults). This tumor can be benign (pinealocytoma) or malignant (pinealoblastoma).
Like all cancers, brain cancer results from a spontaneous mutation in certain brain cells (often glial cells). Anarchic cell proliferation is the cause of the tumor.
In the case of secondary brain tumors, however, this phenomenon first occurs in another organ. Subsequently, cancer cells (metastasis) enter the brain via the bloodstream.
The symptoms that people with brain cancer show are very varied and depend mostly on the location of the tumor.
Regardless of the type of brain tumor, there are certain non-specific signs:
– Frequent and intense headaches
– digestive disorders, nausea, vomiting
– visual disturbances: blurred or double vision, temporary loss of peripheral vision, which may progress toward the center, confusion, loss of consciousness, etc;
– neurosensory disorders: numbness, tingling, paralysis, weakness on one side of the body, dizziness ;
– memory problems;
– Loss of balance and problems with coordination of movements;
– Hearing impairment (especially if the cancer affects the auditory nerve);
– Lack of appetite and, as a consequence, weight loss. Sometimes there may be weight gain without changing the patient’s diet. This is especially true for pituitary adenoma, which causes metabolic and hormonal disorders. In this case, menstrual irregularities are also sometimes observed;
– severe fatigue (asthenia);
– Behavioral and personality changes: frequent depression, irritability. Sometimes patients may perform inappropriate behaviors or say inappropriate things.
However, these are not very specific and do not necessarily indicate a brain tumor. Neurological signs and memory loss can also be a sign of neurodegenerative disease.
! The only specific sign of a brain tumor is an epileptic seizure in a patient who does not have epilepsy.
Like other cancers, brain tumors can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. However, because the brain is a complex organ and gliomas are most often diffuse, treating brain cancer is more difficult than treating other malignancies.
Surgical treatment for brain cancer is the first line of treatment if the tumor is small and therefore operable. However, if the tumor is too widespread, surgery is not recommended because of the risk of damaging certain parts of the brain. For example, it is out of the question to jeopardize the patient’s vision by damaging the optic nerve. It is believed that a patient who has lost his or her independence will not be able to properly fight cancer or cancer recurrence. This is because it is sometimes impossible to remove all cancer cells, and surgery does not always prevent recurrence of brain cancer.
The gamma knife is a more precise and effective treatment method than traditional radiation therapy. It is used as a second-line treatment and is more effective than chemotherapy. However, results are generally mixed, although cancer progression is slowed.
It is prescribed as a second-line treatment. It generally slows the progression of the disease, but the results are mixed because chemotherapy has difficulty crossing the blood-brain barrier.
It is difficult to predict or prevent the occurrence of this disease, the causes of which remain mysterious. However, as with all cancers, a healthy lifestyle is recommended:
– A balanced diet rich in organically grown (pesticide-free) fruits and vegetables
– regular physical activity
– quitting smoking,
– Reducing the amount of alcohol consumed;
– protection from aggressive sun exposure
Clinical examination and history taking by the attending physician ;
Biopsy to determine if the tumor is benign or malignant. A biopsy is performed by taking a sample of tumor tissue;
Imaging tests (PET/CT, MRI, etc.) are used to precisely localize the tumor and determine its size.
At the Health and Prevention Center in Geneva, you may undergo :
– Cancer check-up
– Cancer therapy
Our Medical Center is located in the center of Geneva.
Your Health and Prevention Center
There are certain signs that may indicate the presence of breast cancer. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see your doctor straight away so they can carry out tests to confirm the presence or absence of cancer.
Information about the stage and type of breast cancer is used by doctors to plan optimal treatment. The TNM classification (tumor, nodes, metastases) is used for this purpose.
The following criteria are considered to determine the stage of breast cancer :
– Stage 0: This is the stage in situ, ie non-invasive, when the cancer cells have not spread and do not penetrate deep into the surrounding tissues;
– Stage 1: This refers to a malignant mass up to 2 cm, localized in the breast;
– Stages 2 and 3: The tumor is larger than 2 cm and/or has spread to neighboring lymph nodes. In the case of breast cancer, the axillary or subclavian lymph nodes are most often affected;
– Stage 4: Indicates the presence of metastases;
Grade 1 in the histological classification gives the best prognosis, indicating a slow-growing cancer, and grade 3 gives the worst prognosis, indicating a more aggressive cancer. Information about the class and type of breast cancer is of primary importance in determining indications for adjuvant treatment: cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy for breast cancer
After an initial consultation with your doctor, radiological and laboratory tests can be ordered if necessary to detect any abnormalities in the breast tissue.
– Mammography is an X-ray examination of the breasts. Mammography must be done in the first half of the menstrual cycle, that is, in the first ten days of the cycle
– Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast. This examination reveals benign or malignant intraductal lesions
– Hormone Receptor Analysis (HER2) for diagnosis
Breast calcifications are small deposits of calcium that are often found in the breast during a screening mammogram.
What are breast calcinates?
These are calcium deposits that form in the glandular tissues of the breast. It is quite common and has nothing to do with the amount of calcium we get in our diet. Microcalcinates indicate increased activity of certain cells in the glandular tissue of the breast, when the cells are actively growing and dividing and absorbing more calcium.
Calcinates may raise a suspicion of breast cancer or precancerous changes in breast tissue, especially if they are isolated or their accumulation has an irregular shape.
Benign calcinates in the breast, on the other hand, do not increase the risk of developing breast cancer. It is simply a sign of breast activity.
Calcinates are not palpable on normal palpation of the breast. They can be seen on a mammogram as white spots of different sizes. Calcinates larger than 1 mm are considered macrocalcinates, up to 1 mm – microcalcinates.
A biopsy is often prescribed when calcinates are detected for the first time. Biopsy is indicated by the size, shape and location of calcinates. Macrocalcinates often do not require follow-up, microcalcinates need to be monitored. If in doubt, the biopsy is performed immediately after the mammogram, otherwise only a repeat examination after 6 months is indicated. Calcinates cannot be seen on ultrasound or MRI.
Nipple discharge outside the lactation or postpartum period is a fairly common symptom and reason to see a doctor. Although the discharge can be worrisome, it does not necessarily mean breast cancer.
There are three types of nipple discharge: physiological discharge, benign discharge and abnormal discharge.
– Physiological discharge is serous, from both mammary glands, multifocal and scanty. This is perfectly normal, as it is associated with the secretory nature of the mammary gland.
– Benign discharge is greenish or whitish, thick and scanty. Most often they indicate a benign breast disease, such as ductal ectasia or galactophoritis, both of inflammatory nature. Ductal ectasia accounts for 15 to 20% of benign discharge. This disease is characterized by an enlargement of the ducts that transport milk, the ducts become thicker and fluid accumulates in them, which is never a sign of cancer. Ductal ectasia is not a precancerous condition, but a natural aging of the gland. It bothers women, but is fairly benign and common.
Benign greenish discharge can also be associated with fibroadenomas, benign tumors of the breast, which are rarely associated with breast cancer.
– Abnormal discharge can be bloody or serous, unilateral and unifocal. In about 50% of cases, they are associated with papillomas, small benign neoplasms that need to be operated on because they can become cancerous. They can also result from atypical intraepithelial lesions (precancerous lesions).
Finally, on average, in 11-15% of cases, abnormal discharge is a sign of in situ cancer or invasive breast cancer.
In the case of physiological or benign discharge no treatment is required. In the case of fibroadenoma a simple observation can be necessary. It can also be removed surgically if the mass is growing or bothersome.
In the case of abnormal discharge, surgical treatment is needed to remove the malignant or precancerous lesion.
Galactorrhea is an abnormal discharge of milk from the nipple that occurs outside of pregnancy or breastfeeding. These secretions are bilateral (from both mammary glands) and from several pores of the nipple.
Galactorrhea occurs mostly in women (from puberty to menopause), but less frequently can affect men as well. This discharge can be provoked or spontaneous.
In many cases, the cause of galactorrhea is unknown; the discharge may disappear spontaneously after some time.
But in some cases, galactorrhea may be a sign of certain disorders.
Galactorrhea is caused by excess production of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates milk production in the mammary glands. This hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland, an endocrine gland located in the brain. Galactorrhea may therefore be a sign of a benign pituitary tumor which nevertheless needs an appropriate treatment; – It could also be a side effect of certain drugs (antidepressants, antihistamines, neuroleptics, antipsychotics, antibiotics, sedative antihypertensives, etc.). Opiates, such as heroin, can also cause milk discharge from nipples. So can birth control pills that contain estrogen;
– Galactorrhea may indicate thyroid dysfunction (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism)
– Galactorrhea can also lead to irregularities in the cycle, ovulation, and libido in women, as well as erectile dysfunction in men. In general, it can cause fertility problems in both women and men. Therefore, it is important not to delay in seeing a doctor.
In about one in 100 cases, nipple discharge can occur in men as well. However, unlike women, nipple discharge in men is almost always a sign of malignancy.
The survival rate after being diagnosed with breast cancer is 85-90%, making it one of the cancers with the best survival rates.
If the breast cancer is invasive and the patient is not treated, the cancer cells gradually fill the entire breast and then migrate to the axillary lymph nodes and further into the bloodstream to then multiply in the liver, lungs, bones, brain, etc. These secondary tumors are called “metastases.”
A rare but aggressive type of cancer
Among the different types of cancer, inflammatory breast cancer is one of the most aggressive. What are the signs? How is it treated?
Inflammatory breast cancer, also known as carcinomatous mastitis, is less common than hormone-dependent cancer, accounting for only 1% to 4% of breast cancers, but it is often much more aggressive, so it should be treated quickly. The numbers speak for themselves: the 5-year survival rate ranges from 30 to 50%, compared to 85-90% for hormone-dependent cancers.
Distinctive clinical signs of inflammatory breast cancer :
Swelling, redness on part or all of the breast, thickening that looks like orange peel, fever throughout the breast or even burning, changes in the appearance of the nipple, increased breast volume… all these atypical clinical signs can indicate inflammatory breast cancer.
Early detection and timely treatment of this type of cancer is especially important.
Generally, treatment of this type of cancer involves a combination of treatments. Most often, treatment begins with chemotherapy, then usually a complete mastectomy, since the entire mammary gland may be affected. In this type of breast cancer, immediate reconstructive surgery is not possible because of the high risk of recurrence.
To reduce the risk of recurrence, radiation therapy and even hormone therapy (in case the tumor responds to hormone receptors) can be offered. And yet, even this combination of treatments does not eliminate the risk of metastases, both immediately and subsequently, as well as the risk of recurrence.
Mainly young women (from 35 till 50 years) suffer from inflammatory breast cancer. The reasons for this age distribution are not yet clear.
In the vast majority of cases, breast cancer is found and treated while it is still localized. But sometimes it happens that cancer cells migrate to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph, forming metastases.
Metastases may be detected at initial diagnosis, but most often they occur later, usually within the first 5 years of diagnosis. In rarer cases, metastatic recurrence may occur even later, 10 to 20 years after initial diagnosis.
All 3 major cancer types – Her2+, RH+, and triple negative – are potential sources of metastasis.
Although metastatic breast cancer may remain silent for a long time, metastases can still give certain signs or symptoms in some cases. Detecting them early allows the disease to be treated more quickly and effectively.
Signs depend on the location of the metastases. Each type of breast cancer has its own tendency to develop. Breast cancer predominantly metastasizes to the bones, lungs, liver, or brain.
– Metastases to the bones can cause nighttime pain and even fractures;
– Metastases in the lungs can cause shortness of breath;
– Metastases in the liver can cause jaundice;
– Metastases to the brain can cause severe headaches;
Treating metastatic breast cancer is different from treating localized cancer: It is no longer curative. It has two goals: to slow the progression of the disease and to control its symptoms so that the patient can live with it as long as possible and in the best conditions.
Treatment depends on several factors: the type of original tumor (HER2+, HR, triple-negative), presence of recurrences, the rate of metastases spread, the patient’s general condition, etc. Further treatment is regularly adjusted depending on the body’s response to treatment and possible side effects.
Hormone therapy is given to original cancerous tumors that are hormone-sensitive. Because the growth of this type of tumor is stimulated in the presence of female hormones, the goal of hormone therapy is to block their action.
The type of hormone therapy offered for breast cancer varies depending on whether or not the patient is in menopause.
Chemotherapy is the only treatment for metastatic triple-negative cancer.
Chemotherapy for breast cancer may also be indicated for other types of metastatic breast cancer (HR+ and HER2+), especially when symptoms are present. Chemotherapy may be given in addition to hormone therapy and/or targeted therapy or as a replacement for them.
Chemotherapy treatment for cancer with metastases is not curative; it is aimed at limiting the progression of the disease.
Implantable Chemotherapy Chamber
The implantable chamber, also called the implantable catheter chamber (ICC or PAC from “port-a-cath”), appeared in the early 1980s, simultaneously with the first chemotherapy drugs.
This device is now widely offered to breast cancer patients who have to undergo intravenous chemotherapy to reduce vein trauma during repeated chemotherapy sessions. The catheter is placed in a large vein, usually at the top of the chest. Today, this device is almost systematically offered to patients before chemotherapy begins, and patients generally like it.
The catheter is regularly monitored by doctors, for which X-rays are taken to make sure it is functioning properly. Patients can wear such catheters for a very long time, especially if the disease has metastasized, resulting in the need for continuous treatment for several years without complications.
Targeted therapy with new drugs has revolutionized the treatment of HR+ and Her 2+ breast cancer. The goal of targeted therapies is to block specific mechanisms of cancer cells. They are mostly prescribed as pills and are usually well tolerated and have little or no effect on a patient’s quality of life. These drugs can be taken alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Treatment may last for several years, but as a rule, after a certain period of time the cancer cell develops a mechanism of resistance, which makes it necessary to change the treatment strategy.
– In the case of triple-negative breast cancer, immunotherapy is also used in some cases, even these drugs are not very effective for the therapy of this type of breast cancer.
Targeted therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer
Almost one in five breast cancers is HER-positive. Treatment for this type of cancer has benefited greatly from improved cancer therapies. Chemotherapy combined with targeted therapies have changed the prognosis of breast cancer.
What is HER2+ breast cancer ?
HER2 is a protein that occurs naturally in the body. It is a transmembrane receptor involved in the regulation of cell proliferation. When a cell becomes malignant (most often in breast cancer, but also in gastric, ovarian, bladder, lung, etc.), the number of these receptors increases abnormally. As a result, the growth of cancer cells is accelerated. This type of breast cancer is called HER2-positive or HER2+. This is a particularly aggressive form of cancer, where the risk of recurrence is higher and mortality in this type of breast cancer is higher, especially because these cells respond worse to certain types of chemotherapy. Since the late 1990s, however, targeted therapies have been used on these tumors, which, when combined with chemotherapy, have changed the prognosis.
Mechanism of action of targeted therapy for HER2+ cancer
Targeted therapy is a treatment that specifically blocks certain mechanisms in cancer cells, most commonly proteins present on the surface or inside cancer cells. Two classes of therapies are used to treat HER2+ cancer:
– Monoclonal antibodies: these drugs block the membrane receptor and thus block the development of cancer cells while sparing healthy cells
– Tyrosine kinase inhibitors: these molecules will be able to penetrate the cancer cell to block a specific mechanism.
The purpose of these drugs is to stop the growth and spread of breast cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.
HER2 status can change (over time or as a result of treatment), so it is possible to have the test repeated in case of recurrence or metastasis.
Radiation therapy is systematically indicated for localized breast cancer, and less frequently for metastatic breast cancer.
In recent years great progress has been made in oncology, especially in the treatment of breast cancer, which has greatly improved the prognosis for the disease even at the metastatic stage. The disease can now be controlled for many years, preserving a very good quality of life for patients.
Of all breast cancers, triple negative breast cancer is the most aggressive. Triple-negative breast cancers get their name because they lack estrogen, progesterone (hormone-dependent breast cancer), and HER-2 receptors. This means that hormonal and targeted therapies cannot be used to treat them.
This type of cancer has a much higher risk of metastasis than other types of breast cancer, with a poor prognosis because it is very likely to recur and metastasize to other organs. The liver and lungs are more likely to metastasize, because they spread more through the bloodstream than through the lymphatic system.
There has been little recent progress in therapy for this type of cancer.
Breast cancer is usually associated with women. Rarely, however, breast cancer also occurs in men. Men account for about 1% of cases of the disease. It is because men do not believe they are at risk of developing breast cancer and do not seek medical advice that the tumor has time to reach an advanced stage before diagnosis. Lack of awareness of the disease, combined with the absence of obvious symptoms in the patient, and as a result, men’s five-year survival rate is lower than that of women (69% for men, compared with 80-85% for women). Men also have a higher risk of metastases.
In most cases, men are affected by infiltrating ductal carcinoma.
Causes of breast cancer in men, as in women, is a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. About 15% of breast cancers in men are due to an inherited mutation in these genes.
The symptoms of ductal carcinoma are basically the same in men and women. Listed below are signs that are a reason to see a doctor urgently :
– A lump (even painless) in the breast area that can be palpated on self-examination
– Retraction or deviation of the nipple
– Redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast area
– Localized pain
– Palpable nodes in the armpits
– Greenish or bloody discharge
– Heredity: having breast cancer in close relatives, both men and women
– Age: a man’s risk of developing breast cancer increases with age
– Men with Klinefelter syndrome have low levels of androgens and high levels of estrogens, which increases the risk of developing breast cancer
– Radiation therapy to the chest in the past
– Liver cirrhosis: it causes high estrogen levels and low androgen levels
At our Health and Prevention Center, you may be screened for :
– Breast cancer
Patients who have had COVID-19, moderate or severe forms, note deterioration of the lungs, heart, brain, and musculoskeletal system. Rapid fatigability, decreased vital tonus, lowered working capacity, difficulty in attempts to take a full-throated breath, hypertension, etc. are also common complaints.
Our medical center offers a special POST-COVID examination and treatment to restore all functions of the body affected by this disease.
Blood and urine analysis biocheckup (results ready in 24hrs)
Intestinal microbiota (results ready in 5 days)
Lungs CT scan
Cardiac CT scan
Daily internist consultation and perfusion in the list below to be adapted to the patient’s needs: