December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media
Once diagnosed with lung cancer and it’s determined that the tumour is resectable, you’ll undergo lung function tests and it will be determined if you’re fit for surgery. No eating six-hours prior to surgery and general anaesthesia will be administered. Thoracotomy There are two common approaches for lung cancer surgery which are thoracotomy and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Thoracotomy is an incision made on the side of the chest, in-between the ribs to reach the lung and other organs in the chest. VATS is a minimally-invasive approach that involves generally one to four small incisions to access the inside…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Depending on the type and stage of cancer, you may need surgery as part of treatment. The type of surgery you’ll need depends on the type and stage of cancer you have and where it’s located.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Knowledge and review Firstly, ensure that you have as many consults and opinions to ensure that you’re comfortable with your decision of surgery. Understand the options and alternatives. Ensure the procedure has been explained to you as well the pros and cons and alternative options as…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media
Choosing the right treatment option may feel overwhelming but your urologist will make a careful individualised assessment of how to best control your disease while minimising any side effects. Radical prostatectomy The entire prostate and seminal vesicles (sperm sacs) are removed while taking care to protect urinary and sexual structures nearby. There are different techniques used; the traditional route was through an incision on your lower abdomen. This prostate surgery is still routinely done by expert surgeons who have perfected this technique. With advancements in technology, it has become possible to perform keyhole surgery, using either laparoscopic or robotic…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media
Surgery is one of several methods used to treat colorectal cancer. It can be used to make the diagnosis, prevent colorectal cancer, remove cancer and treat complications. There are several types of surgery that can be offered. Preparing for surgery Your surgeon will make sure that you are fit to go to theatre. Sometimes you will need a bowel cleanse in preparation for surgery. This is usually needed before surgery to remove your rectum. The operation Colorectal cancer will often require removal of a part of the colon or rectum along with associated lymph nodes. This is done to…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media
For most breast procedures, radiology is required on the day or a few days prior. This ensures that the surgeon knows the correct area which should be removed. Often small markers, called V-markers, are placed by radiologists to mark areas that are concerning at the time of biopsies or prior to starting chemotherapy. Occasionally, an MRI scan is done on the day of breast surgery. Prepare your body You can exercise but watch your supplement intake as some can cause an increase in bleeding. Some unitshave a prehab specialist who will explain about correct post-operative bras and movement around…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Being diagnosed with cancer is overwhelming, especially in the first few days where it can feel like being on a rollercoaster when you are sent from pillar to post for different blood tests and scans and seeing a myriad of different specialists in a very short space of time. It’s important to understand why the team caring for you insists on certain tests before treatment can start.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Confirming the Big C The most important workup required is pathology confirmation of a diagnosis of…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Follow-up care is essential; this entails consultations with your healthcare team once you are done with treatment. These check-ups may include bloodwork, as well as other tests and procedures that look for changes in your health or any problems that may occur due to your cancer treatment.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Watching for signs of cancer is an important part of follow-up care. Your doctor will check for recurrence (cancer that comes back after treatment). Cancer can come back when very small areas of cancer cells…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

The decision to undertake a haematopoietic stem cell transplant is always a very considered decision. It will be an option, if you’ve certain blood cancers, such as leukaemias, lymphomas and multiple myeloma; if you’ve bone marrow failure or dysfunction and can’t produce sufficient levels of blood cells; or if you’ve certain immunodeficiency states and auto-immune conditions.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Pre-stem cell transplant If you’re being transplanted for cancerous conditions, you would have at this point been through many rounds of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, depending…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Radiotherapy (RT) is a high-energy, targeted X-ray treatment which kills tumour cells by damaging DNA. It’s an important modality used to treat many cancers and advanced technologies are revolutionising its applications, allowing for improved cancer outcomes while reducing side effects. 

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

Types of radiotherapy External beam radiotherapy is the most commonly delivered type, whereby you are positioned on a bed or couch and the radiotherapy machine moves around you to deliver X-rays, which are called photons. Brachytherapy refers to tiny radioactive seeds being…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media

Systemic treatment refers to cancer treatment that targets the entire body. This includes chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and hormonal blockers.

You can listen to this article below, or by using your favourite podcast player at pod.link/oncologybuddies

How are each given? Chemotherapy – Usually intravenously (via a drip or a port). Occasionally oral chemotherapy (tablets) can be used. Targeted therapy – Usually oral tablets, occasionally intravenously. Immunotherapy – Usually intravenously, subcutaneous (under the skin) formulations are being developed. Hormonal blockers – Usually oral tablets or three-monthly or monthly injections. Preparing for chemotherapy Each patient has a different attitude and…

December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media
Gynaecological cancers can be devastating as they affect your sexual and reproductive health. Many women are afraid to discuss these very sensitive matters with their surgeon. There is always the option of harvesting eggs if fertility is desired and a frank discussion should be had about libido and the different look and feel of your genital area together with anticipated menopausal symptoms. Ovarian cancer Surgery generally consists of a cut which is up and down from above the belly button down. The big cut is because both ovaries, the uterus, a fat pad called an omentum (which hangs from…