The pandemic ensured that some patients with advanced tumor diseases presented to the Amper-Klinikum Dachau over the summer.
The German Cancer Society has certified five specialist centers at the Amper Clinic, thereby confirming the high quality of diagnosis and therapy - and that after an examination in the middle of the pandemic.
The clinic announced.
Two sentences in the letter are very sad: “Unfortunately, we had to find out that through the entire summer months we were mainly presented with patients with advanced tumor diseases.
It must be assumed here that the pandemic has delayed the correct diagnosis. ”The words come from Professor Dr.
Axel Kleespies, chief physician for general, visceral, thoracic and oncological surgery at the Amper-Klinikum.
In a conversation with the Dachauer Nachrichten, Kleespies, who is considered an outstanding expert in the fight against cancer, becomes clearer.
Professor Kleespies, in the press release you mention that primarily patients with advanced tumor diseases have come to you.
Can you give us any figures?
To do this, we have to record the so-called “primary cases” of a center.
Primary cases are those cancers that were diagnosed for the first time, i.e. newly diagnosed, at a center within a specified period of time.
For example, if we look at the patients at the Dachau Colorectal Cancer Center, we see that we treated 50 patients with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer from January to October of this year.
Of these, eight patients (16 percent) showed an expansion of the tumor disease, which is considered no longer curable and is treated palliatively.
In the same period last year (January to October 2019) we treated 55 patients with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer.
Of these, only three (5.4 percent) showed a palliative tumor stage.
As a restriction, it must be added that these are low numbers that cannot be statistically reliably assessed.
Nevertheless, they at least underpin our perception of an increase in patients with advanced tumor disease.
What kind of tumors are in general?
In addition to colon cancer, we also made similar observations in pancreatic cancer and gynecological tumors, i.e. tumors of the female abdomen.
What were the reasons why the patients only came to the hospital over the summer months?
You can only make assumptions about this.
Only in emergencies do patients come directly to our cancer center or to one of our organ centers.
As a rule, the first patient contact occurs with the family doctor or resident specialist, for example with an internist, endoscopist or gynecologist, for routine examinations, for preventive care or in the event of complaints.
Patients who are suspected of having a tumor are referred to our cancer center by the respective practices.
We have to assume that at the beginning of the pandemic in the spring to early summer, patients did not attend or had to postpone outpatient doctor's appointments.
The uncertainty about the risk of a doctor or clinic visit played a not insignificant role at this point in time.
In this context, do you blame politicians like Angela Merkel, Markus Söder or Karl Lauterbach who have been scared people with their statements for months?
This is not about pointing the blame.
Avoiding fear reactions in the population is very difficult when the daily reporting from neighboring European countries shows health systems at their limits.
In my very personal perception, everyone working in health care and politics has tried over the past few months to correctly assess the danger situation again and again, to protect society with its healthy and sick individuals, to avoid panic and yet no more avert a manageable infection situation in German hospitals and medical practices.
The whole pandemic is a learning process.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Helios Amper Clinic said that all necessary precautionary and protective measures had been taken and that cancer therapies would not be delayed due to Corona.
How is the current situation here?
Patients with cancer have been diagnosed and treated comprehensively and without delay in our center throughout the entire period of the pandemic to date.
Cancer patients were decidedly excluded from the politically decreed "postponement of planned operations" in our clinic.
That will also be the case in the future.
Thanks to the rapid implementation of comprehensive hygiene measures for staff and patients and the parallel implementation of digital sessions for necessary tumor conferences, all important processes in the cancer center could be maintained.
The German Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO) already pointed out in May that “the fear of Covid-19 must not lead to early detection or the implementation of effective therapies being delayed.
The harm to patients would be immense ”.
Would you agree with that?
Yes, other specialist societies have also pointed this out, and we too feared a second “cancer wave” early on due to the delay in cancer diagnoses.
We therefore sought a dialogue with the board of the German Cancer Society (DKG) very early on and, together with the Dachau District Office and other political mandate holders, ensured that cancer therapy was fully available at the Dachau site despite the difficult conditions at the height of the pandemic and is.
Cancer award for the Helios Amper-Klinikum Dachau
Cancer award for the Helios Amper-Klinikum Dachau
The German Cancer Society has certified the breast, bowel and pancreas center as well as the head and neck tumor center and the cancer center at the Helios Amper-Klinikum Dachau, thereby confirming the high quality of diagnosis and therapy.
"It proves that we offer cancer patients in our clinic the highest standards and perfect framework conditions for successful treatment", says clinic manager Florian Aschbrenner.
And Professor Dr.
Axel Kleespies, Chief Physician of General, Visceral, Thoracic and Oncological Surgery at the Dachau Hospital confirms: “This certification not only confirms our professional qualifications - it is above all the result of the excellent cooperation between our doctors, nurses, therapists and psychologists.
Smooth processes can only be guaranteed with a well-rehearsed team. "The perfect interaction was shown in the high phase of the pandemic and lockdown:" We were able to adapt our well-established diagnostic, decision-making and control processes to the new situation at high speed.
Not a single tumor conference had to be adjourned or postponed, ”said Kleespies.