PCC webinar tackles treatment for cancer recurrence
The webinar featured PCC’s Medical Oncology director and senior consultant Dr. Ang Peng Tiam and Haematology senior consultant Dr. Colin Phipps Diong. 
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PCC webinar tackles treatment for cancer recurrence
Argie C. Aguja (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2020 - 11:05am

MANILA, Philippines — A recurrent cancer might come back in the same place it first started, or it might come back somewhere else in the body. This may happen even if many years have passed since the original cancer was treated. For now, it is impossible to determine with absolute certainty if a cancer will recur, though the chances of recurrence depends on the type of cancer. 

To better inform the public about the reasons for cancer recurrence the scientific developments that has led to better treatment, two experts from the Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC) shared valuable insights during the recent online webinar dubbed When cancer returns: Moving forward with the right treatment last August 1.

Presented by PCC and organized by Channel News Asia (CNA), the webinar featured two of PCC’s foremost experts in cancer treatment: Medical Oncology medical director and senior consultant Dr. Ang Peng Tiam and Haematology senior consultant Dr. Colin Phipps Diong. 

Treating a cancer relapse

In his presentation titled "Treatment for cancer recurrence - Solid tumors," Dr. Ang Peng Tiam discussed the key goals of treating non-metastatic cancer, as well as the options available to patients should cancer relapse. He also stressed that getting treatment right for the first time is the best chance to avoid a relapse.

Should recurrence occur, Dr. Ang says advancements in immunotherapy treatment play a significant role in dealing with cancer relapse. He showed several case studies on how patients were able to recover and lead improved quality of life—thanks to advanced treatments, a warrior instinct to fight the disease, and not losing hope.

“It is important to note that cancers can remain stable for a long time. So that’s why it’s very important that we continue to monitor them. We want to know whether if it stays the same or you are living in harmony with the disease or whether the disease started going again and causing trouble,” Dr. Ang says. 

Dealing with blood cancers

For his part titled "Treatment for cancer recurrence - Blood cancers," Dr. Colin Phipps Diong talked about how cancer recurrence does not only include solid tumors (breast cancer, colon cancer, et. al.) but also blood cancers that can be classified into different types, namely; acute leukemia, chronic leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

For blood cancers, Dr. Colin called for more detailed and targeted approaches. In particular, he mentioned the need for biopsies to determine if it is indeed a case of recurrence and not an infection. Only then can medication be considered, but the overall fitness of the patient receiving the treatment must be carefully considered. If a bone marrow transplant is feasible, the patient’s own stem cells can be used (autologous) or the stem cells from other people (allogeneic transplant). 

“Different diagnoses required different treatments. For blood cancers, generally, we use chemotherapy with or without a combination with some targeted agents. Again, the prognosis is based on the diagnosis. The best way to cope is to prepare the patient well; frequent visits to make sure that they are coping with treatment well,” Dr. Colin explained.

The recent webinar is part of PCC’s series of virtual webinars where experts will be sharing topics on different types of cancer, medical advancements in cancer treatment, and tips on coping with cancer. Each webinar aims to shed light on different topics, with doctors and allied health professionals from different specializations each sharing their knowledge, experiences and perspectives, as well as answering key questions from the global audience.

HealthNews is an online health and wellness resource developed by Parkway Cancer Centre Singapore. In the Philippines, Parkway Cancer Centre Singapore is represented by CanHOPE Manila. They act as a link with direct access to the Singapore team providing integrated care throughout a patient’s journey.


For more information about cancer and other conditions, visit ph.parkwaycancercentre.com or CanHOPE Manila on Facebook.

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