For cancer patients, therapy in tumor centers

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AOK report: Cancer patients should be treated in special centers

According to the AOK Oncology Report 2013, the therapy of many cancer patients may not be optimal. Because many of those affected are treated in hospitals instead of in special clinics. The report comes to the conclusion that therapy in a certified tumor center can significantly increase the chances of recovery.

Cancer patients receive the best possible treatment in certified tumor centers As the AOK Rhineland / Hamburg stated in its 2013 oncology report, many cancer patients are not treated in certified tumor centers, although doctors there have the greatest experience with the disease. According to the health insurance fund, only the majority of breast cancer patients (almost 81 percent) in North Rhine-Westphalia were treated in special clinics in 2011. The percentage was significantly lower for all other types of cancer. In colon cancer, only a third received treatment in a tumor center. It was only about a fifth in lung and prostate cancer. "Cancer diseases have to be treated in specialized and certified centers for this," says Günter Waltermann, CEO of the AOK Rheinland / Hamburg. “At present, the proportion of patients treated in certified centers for many cancers is still far too low. There they can be treated best and most successfully. "

The example of certified breast centers shows how important treatment in special facilities is. According to the AOK, there are the best prerequisites for "a high level of competence, extensive experience in operations and up-to-date knowledge of drug treatment, which is becoming increasingly important alongside the operation". Prof. Dr. Ulrike Nitz, chief physician of the Niederrhein Breast Center, explains: "The care in breast centers means that breast cancer mortality can be reduced." Despite the positive development, the range of tasks and existing skills in breast centers would also have to be further developed. "In particular, women with metastatic disease must Breast cancer, the quality of care will be further increased, "said Nitz. There has also been no uniform certification by independent experts from the tumor centers and outpatient treatment options." This certification of the centers must follow uniform standards, "says Matthias Mohrmann, Member of the Board of Directors AOK.

Cancer patients suffer from enormous psychological stress "A cornerstone in the treatment of oncological patients is psycho-oncological care," explains Nitz. “It has to be offered even more widely. Cancer is a special psychological burden for the sick as well as for relatives and friends. "

The AOK's oncology report also examined the effects of cancer in working life. This particularly affects women who develop breast cancer, as they often fall ill at a young age. Men usually suffer from colon, prostate and skin cancer if the diagnosis is made during their professional life. "Cancer in professional life places new demands on rehabilitation," says Waltermann. It has been shown that employees who retire from cancer after rehabilitation retire ten times more often than after other illnesses.

Another result of the study concerns mortality from cancer. "The general trend of increasing new cancer cases in the population with falling mortality rates is confirmed," says the report. 50 percent of those insured with AOK who did not survive cancer died in hospitals and only about seven percent in hospices. (ag)

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