“People are still afraid to go back to the hospital,” says oncologist

posted on 05/05/2022 15:49 / updated on 05/05/2022 15:50

Oncologist Gustavo Fernandes was interviewed by CB.Saúde – (credit: Marcelo Ferreira/CB/DA Press)

The general health situation of the population has changed with the pandemic, including people with cancer. To address the matter, the director of oncology at Grupo Dasa, Gustavo Fernandes, was the interviewee for this Thursday’s edition (5/5) of the CB.Saúde program — a partnership with Mail with TV Brasilia.

To journalist Carmen Souza, Gustavo highlighted the direct impacts of the pandemic on this specific type of treatment. “Two years of delay in healthcare is very significant. If we think about life expectancy, many people did not take care of their health, lost their physical activity routine, gained weight and naturally missed check-ups. There is still a certain fear of people going back to the hospital. It’s a trauma, with covid, but you have to treat it,” he says.

With the pandemic, the oncologist noticed a worsening in cancer cases. “It has happened in two ways: in the reduction of exams, such as mammography and check-up colonoscopy, which has a great impact on early detection. And when the exams are delayed, which brings patients with larger tumors”, he warns.

For the improvement in the treatment of this specific disease, personalized medicine is an alternative. “It’s a search for medicine. There are two ways to individualize the treatment: looking at the biology of the disease and looking at the patient, in the office. This is a daily exercise that encourages more shared decisions. I would say that information has become commonplace, knowledge not so much. Somehow, we have to give the patient what he understands is best for him”, points out Gustavo.

In practice, this idea materializes in the interaction between patient and doctor during treatment. “The precise way to treat tumors with smarter strategies is what has been evolving in the last 20 years. In the last 10 years, it has been led by immunotherapy, encouraging the immune system against the tumor. For this, it is necessary to stimulate in this direction, which has been methodologically improved and has brought beautiful results, which opens the smiles of doctors and patients”, explains the oncologist.

Another solution for some types of cancer is immunization via vaccination, as Gustavo explains. “Vaccines such as hepatitis B and HPV reduce liver cancer and the risk of tumors of the cervix, penis and anal canal, respectively. It’s a health promotion,” he declares. As a challenge for medicine, the oncologist cites the biological wealth within the human organism. “For every ten cells in our body, nine are foreign, and only one of them is ours. It is a phenomenon in understanding in medicine,” he says.

*Intern under the supervision of Nahima Maciel

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