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Evaluation of psychological needs a major step toward providing high-quality breast cancer treatment: Consultant

Saudi women who were diagnosed with advanced stages of breast cancer benefited from recent advancements in treatment which renewed their hopes of restoring a normal life. Photo courtesy: social media)
JEDDAH: Prof. Ahmed Ali Saadeddin, consultant in clinical oncology and clinical tutor at the Department of Adult Oncology at King Abdul Aziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs in Riyadh, said that “the psychological needs of breast cancer patients should be divided into a wide range of social, psychological and physical responsibilities for both the patient and her family. The evaluation of these needs should be a major step toward providing high-quality treatment, without focusing just on drug therapy.”

In an interview with “Laha Magazine” online, Dr. Saadeddin stressed “the importance of significant improvements in the results of breast cancer treatment regarding the awareness of the patient and accomplishing better and more specialized methodology in the use of treatment, as well as the advances in research for understanding the mechanism of the resistance against such treatments.”

Dr. Saadeddin clarified that 65 percent of Saudi women who were diagnosed with advanced stages of breast cancer benefited from recent advancements in treatment which renewed their hopes of restoring a normal life, because the authorized drugs for this disease do not necessitate the hospitalization of patients, and hence they help protect them against the psychological effects caused by previous drugs.

“Cancer is not just a disease,” Dr. Saadeddin added, “it is a group of complicated and different diseases; hence, it depends on the nature of the cell, the speed of the spread of cancer, and the nature of the patient.”

As for treatment, Dr. Saadeddin noted that, in the last ten years, the rate of recovery of some tumors reached 90 percent, while the rate of recovery from others was just 5 percent. “But in developed countries, the rate of recovery from breast cancer reached more than 95% within a short time, and some patients did not even need chemotherapy.”

Dr. Saadeddin also stressed that the case of each patient is different: “Therefore, the treatment is quite different, and the expectations are different. This message should reach everyone clearly.”

But the most important message from Dr. Saadeddin is to avoid a full mastectomy. “We should use chemotherapy before mastectomy … It is better to avoid this, but if inevitable, it should be done by a specialized medical team, taking into consideration the aesthetical issue which is very important in developed countries.”

Dr. Saadeddin concluded that “10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary, but it is, in the end, a genetic disease.”

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