A cancer diagnosis is a shock. First of all for the person with the disease, but also for their relatives and friends. To cope with cancer, patients need strong partners at their side. At Vivantes, highly qualified teams of specialists are committed to providing them with the best possible treatment.
Anger, despair, fear, helplessness, a "fall from reality," a "nightmare, a "nightmare from which you want to wake up again quickly" - this is how those affected describe their feelings after being diagnosed. Specialists speak of the "four phases of processing the disease": The shock phase is followed by the reaction phase, the emotional confrontation with the diagnosis. In the reparation phase, the patient gradually adapts to the new situation. With the beginning of the illness processing a reorientation sets in, in the best case a new self-image, the life circumstances are accepted. The different phases can last longer or shorter, their signs can alternate, repeat or occur in parallel. "Therefore, in addition to the medically optimal treatment, there is always a focus on the human accompaniment of patients. The doctors and physicians should always focus on the needs of the patient not the needs of the treatment," says Dr. Til R. Kiderlen. The specialist for Internal Medicine, Hematology, Oncology and Infectious Diseases is also head of the office of the Vivantes Tumor Center - the Clinical Cancer Center Berlin (CCCB).
All those involved work closely together
Around 15,000 Berliners are diagnosed with cancer each year, compared to almost 500,000 in Germany. Men are currently most frequently affected by prostate cancer, followed by lung and colorectal cancer, and women by breast cancer, also followed by lung and colorectal cancer. What is important for patients during this difficult time are people who support them in getting well again. If everyone involved works closely together, the common goal is most likely to be achieved. In addition to the closest confidants, the attending physicians play a major role, as do the nursing staff, social services, psychooncology and pastoral care. Ideally, this creates a stable network in which the patient can be supported. The prerequisites for this are openness and trust. Patients should therefore express their concerns or inquiries at any time - so that the supportive the supportive environment can react appropriately and respond appropriately and in their best interest.
Every cancer is different and therefore requires a different combination of treatment measures. Vivantes' goal is to provide the best possible individual treatment for those suffering from cancer. To this end, 14 tumor conferences have been set up in which experts from various medical disciplines - such as oncology, radiation therapy, surgery, pathology and radiology - meet to jointly coordinate the optimal treatment for each patient. They analyze the patient's medical history as well as the available test results and each contribute their specialized knowledge.
Basic pillars of therapy
The three main treatment modalities for cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Research has made great progress in cancer therapy in recent years. In addition to classic chemotherapy, for example, drug therapy is increasingly using drugs that can specifically intervene in cell processes and thus destroy cancer cells. At the same time, surgical interventions, for example using robots, or radiation therapy are becoming increasingly precise, thus sparing both patient and patient.
Dr. Til R. Kiderlen: "The rapid progress in oncology is both an enrichment and a challenge. New therapies are enabling more and more patients to live longer and better, or even to be cured. At the same time, medical staff and hospitals must constantly adapt to developments in order to guarantee the best possible treatment."
Hair loss, nausea, vomiting and exhaustion, but also severe anxiety and depression can be reactions to cancer therapies - in which case the quality of life suffers. Some of these side effects can be mitigated with medication, while others require intensive support. For this purpose, Vivantes offers psycho-oncological care and treatment at all locations.
at all Vivantes sites. The experts specialize in the connections between psychological well-being, the development of cancer and the course of the disease; they can be an important lifeline. Together with the patients, they explore what kind of support might be useful for them, because each person has his or her own way of dealing with stress. But mobilizing one's own resources also makes one strong; many want to contribute to improving their state of health themselves. A healthy varied diet without nicotine and alcohol, but with exercise and sports, a good book, a nice concert or a wellness weekend help to improve the general condition, enrich life, open for the future. Oncological rehabilitation after completion of cancer treatment also helps in this regard. Vivantes Rehabilitation offers outpatient treatment to help patients gradually regain their footing in life.
At Vivantes Neukölln Hospital, Vivantes offers an oncological aftercare and supportive consultation hour - the first of its kind in Berlin. On the one hand, the consultation is aimed at patients who have completed their tumor therapy and require particularly careful aftercare due to, for example, their young age or the severity of the therapy they have undergone. On the other hand, it provides long-term survivors with specialized care, as therapy-related complaints can still occur years after the end of treatment.
What is cancer?
From a medical perspective, tumor disease occurs in a variety of different forms. What they have in common is that they develop from the body's own cells, which, if malignant, can grow uncontrollably and usually destructively into the surrounding tissue. Cancer cells can also migrate via blood and lymph channels and, in later stages, form daughter tumors (metastases) in other organs. How cancer develops has not yet been clarified down to the last detail. Hereditary predisposition (genetic changes), together with other factors, may play a role in the development of cancer. In addition, other factors and risks are known to be contributory factors to cancer, either together or individually. These include tobacco consumption, alcohol abuse, unbalanced diet, lack of exercise, carcinogenic substances in the workplace and the environment, and also some infections, especially with certain types of viruses. As a general rule, the earlier cancer is detected and treated, the greater the chance of recovery.