Collaboration between experts is the key to individualised and timely cancer treatment
The Finnish companies Docrates Cancer Center and Oriola are united by their mission of building a healthier tomorrow. When a person falls seriously ill, for example with cancer, the phrases ‘a good life’ and ‘quality of life’ suddenly get a new meaning. According to Juha Kononen, Chief Clinical Director at Docrates Cancer Center, finding the most suitable and effective treatment for each individual patient with cancer is of crucial importance. Sometimes, in order to find the best targeted treatment for a specific patient, it may be necessary to use a medicinal product with a special permit for compassionate use.
What are some of the special characteristics of cancer?
“Cancer always changes lives. Learning that you have a serious illness raises a wide range of emotions, and the most common feelings among patients at the moment of cancer diagnosis are confusion and worry about the future. After the initial shock, however, you learn to live with the disease.
Today, more and more cancer patients are cured. New, more effective treatments and medicines are being developed all the time. More and more attention is also paid to the overall well-being of patients diagnosed with cancer. At Docrates Cancer Center, the cornerstones of individualised cancer treatment include catering for individual needs and discussing treatment alternatives with the patient. This allows placing more emphasis on the patient’s personal needs as part of the treatment and recovery process.”
What are the challenges of treating a cancer patient?
“Every cancer is different and so is every patient. The treatment plan and medicines are customised to find the most suitable and effective cancer treatment for the individual patient, with as few adverse effects as possible. This means an increase in individually tailored pharmacological treatments. However, in some cases, the most optimal targeted medicine for a given patient is not available in Finland and the medicine must be purchased abroad. At this stage of the treatment process, through collaboration with Oriola, we have been able to import these less common medicines and to ensure that the targeted therapy reaches the patient.”
What can be done to improve quality of life during cancer treatment?
“It is essential to pay attention to overall health and wellbeing when a person is diagnosed with cancer. At Docrates Cancer Center, the treatment plan is compiled together with the patient, taking into account their situation in life, as treatment choices can influence the quality of life.
Cancer patients often need support to cope with changes in physical function, sensory function loss, or aesthetic problems. Changes in sexual function or in mental performance may occur, and psychosocial support is also important for coping with cancer. Sometimes individual nutritional therapy is also incorporated in the treatment from the beginning.”
What are the decisive factors in successful cancer treatment?
“In the treatment of cancer, everything starts with a careful diagnostic process: an exact diagnosis is essential for treatment success. The goal is to start the planned cancer treatment without delay if the patient’s situation allows it. To optimise the patient’s well-being and promote successful cancer treatment, the entire treatment process should be as smooth as possible. For this purpose, seamless collaboration with partners involved in patient care is important. Oriola’s highly knowledgeable expert team for importing compassionate use products provides the best help one could wish for in this process. Finding a suitable medicine and applying for a special permit for compassionate use takes its time, so it is important that collaboration goes smoothly.”