Cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment: “La Nièvre is not picking up”

Cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment: “La Nièvre is not picking up”

“Contrary to popular belief, we have the means to treat many cancers in Nièvre, with the same standardized protocols as in the rest of France. A Nivernais will not be treated differently from a Parisian”, insists Dr César Beltran Garcia, oncologist-radiation therapist in Nevers.

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“The only things we can’t treat are pediatric cancers, because we don’t have the structures, some complex surgeries, because you have to be very specialized or many, and therapeutic trials. But in those cases- there, we know where to send the patient. For the rest, we have the same surgeries, radiotherapies, chemotherapy and immunotherapies as elsewhere”.

“As soon as a treatment is authorized or with a provisional authorization, it can be offered.”

In Nièvre, the Hospital Center of the agglomeration of Nevers (Chan), the Polyclinic of the Loire Valley and the Radiotherapy Center work together to offer the best care to patients.

1. Le diagnostic

It can be confirmed at Chan with an endoscopy, an examination that allows you to explore the inside of the body, to visualize anomalies and to take samples for analysis. “In Nevers, we can perform bronchial, gastric, urological, colonoscopic endoscopies, biopsies…”, lists Cyril Riche, nurse at the Cancer Coordination Center. The sample is then analyzed in the hospital laboratory.

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The diagnosis can be confirmed by imaging. The hospital has a scanner, an MRI, but also a nuclear medicine department equipped with technologies that allow the exploration of the metabolism and to have very precise images, twice as fast and by injecting less products to patients.

2. The multidisciplinary consultation meeting

Specialists from the three institutions meet to discuss the patient’s case and therapy. They meet every week or every fortnight, depending on the type of cancer: ENT, digestive, hematology, urology, etc.

3. The announcement

It is a doctor who will explain to the patient his pathology and the personalized care plan: the chosen treatment, its rhythm, the place where he can do it… Nurses take over to accompany the patient, re-explain to him if necessary, the support, guide.

It’s still something heavy. Even if cancers are cured better than before, if the progression of the disease is further delayed, for them it is as if they were told of a death in stride.

In 2022, 155 thoracic cancers were studied in a consultation meeting in Nièvre. Digestive cancers (96), ENT (71), blood cancers (69) and urological (60) follow.

4. Treatments

“The most modern treatment will not necessarily be the most suitable. Each treatment is personalized”, indicates Dr. Beltran. It could be surgery. Thoracic, digestive and urological cancers are operated on at Chan. Chemotherapy: the hospital has 15 places and can accommodate up to 35 patients a day. Immunotherapy, which stimulates the immune defenses and attacks the disease in a targeted manner.

“This allows for better tolerance and very significantly increases the survival rate. The field of medical oncology is offering more and more new products”, specifies Dr. Beltran.

La Nièvre is also at the forefront of radiotherapy. It has machines that can treat tumors twice as quickly, in a more targeted manner, by reducing doses. Nearly 800 patients were treated last year. “In the Nièvre, we are not picking up, far from it”, insist Cyril Gaget, health executive, and Cyril Riche.

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Marlene Martin


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