Apollo Proton cancer centre to partner doctors to offer cancer treatment in Ghana

Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC) is to collaborate with Ghanaian doctors to offer proton cancer treatment in the country.

APCC is the most advanced Cancer Centre, and the first Proton Therapy Centre in South Asia and the Middle East and is India’s first Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited Cancer hospital.

Proton therapy, also called proton beam therapy, is an advanced cancer treatment that involves the use of charged particles called protons, rather than the x-rays used in other forms of radiation therapy.

As in other radiation therapies, proton therapy is designed to kill cancer cells through a similar process by damaging their DNA.

At a news conference in Accra on Thursday, the Deputy General Manager of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, Mr Amit Chaturvedi, said his outfit was committed to working closely with the government and train some Ghanaian doctors on proton therapy to build their capacity in cancer treatments.

He said proton therapy had emerged as an excellent treatment modality for a number of cancers.

According to him, Ghana has about 70 per cent of cancer cases and urged Ghanaians to maintain quality lifestyle to improve on their health.

A consultant and Faculty-Radiation Oncology at APCC, Dr Nagarjuna Burela, said most common cases being treated at APCC were pediatric cancers and tumors of central nervous system (CNS) and head and neck, including challenging cases such as skull base.

He explained that patients who had undergone proton therapy experienced significantly less discomfort during and after treatment and were not likely to require hospital admission, tube feeding or treatment interruption.

With regards to patients with tumors involving the skull base, Dr Nagarjuna said proton therapy improved the safety of critical organs such as the visual pathway and brain stem.

“At APCC, we have the latest PBS technology which enables us to deliver highly focused treatments to each tumor, and each tumor is treated with protons, spot-by-spot and layer-by-layer. It has been proven to be successful in curing or controlling many cancers when used appropriately,” he added.

The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, commended APCC for their support and initiative in cancer treatment in the country.

He expressed government’s commitment to partner with APCC to build the capacity of Ghanaian doctors to treat severe cancerous cases in the country.

Mr Michael Asamoh, a tumor cancer survivor patient who shared his experience at APCC said, “In April 2022, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor which caused partial blindness. In May, I travelled to Chennai, India, to get treated at APCC.

Dr Arvind Sukumaran, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, and a team of medical staff gave me the best treatment at APCC. The treatment lasted for a week or so and I was discharged within two weeks. The staff at APCC gave us hope and, I believethe staff at Apollo Proton Cancer Centre can do anything considering their in-depth knowledge and extraordinary line of treatment supported by advanced technology.”

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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