The first clinic for patient survivors operates at the Atticon Hospital, helping people who survived cancer in the lifestyle of the post-disease era.
The pioneering clinic for Greek standards provides free lifelong follow-up in oncology patientswith the aim of strengthening their health and improving their quality of life.
With supportive services for nutrition, exercise prescription, psychotherapy, as well as sleep and addiction carethe clinic guides survivors through the recovery phase, based on researched guidelines.
It has been developed according to the standards of corresponding clinics abroad and has so far offered its services to 38 women with breast cancer. However, the aim is to expand the operation for oncology patients with any type of cancer, as well as teenagers and young people who have come out victorious in the battle with the disease.
Healthcare professionals initially assess six pillars of cancer survivors’ lifestyles: Nutrition, physical activity, mental health, sleep, addictions and their relationships.
It is possible to schedule an appointment through the NHS appointment system, “1535”. Those interested can search for it as “Supportive Medicine Practice”.
The clinic was presented on 8/11 at a Press Conference held at the Vasilis and Eliza Goulandris Foundation Museum, in the presence of the Minister of Health, Michalis Chrysochoidis.
“Cancer needs political management”noted Mr. Chrysochoidis, adding that the Ministry of Health is planning to draw up a National Cancer Plan. “Consider a woman with breast cancer. He goes through the process of surgery and treatments. And then, however, it needs monitoring”, noted the Minister. He also emphasized that all major diseases need a separate plan. In this context, after all, special care has been provided for dementia patients and their carers – the bill was presented at the beginning of the week by the Minister of Health – as well as specialized units for strokes. At the same time, the completion of the Psychiatric Reform is promoted at the moment when Aristotelous brings a draft law on trauma.
What exactly will the survivors clinic offer to the Attica Hospital? The detailed presentation was made by the initiator of the initiative, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Kalliopi Kalaitzi. Healthcare professionals initially assess six pillars of cancer survivors’ lifestyles: Nutrition, physical activity, mental health, sleep, addictions and their relationships.
After the initial assessment, they carry out interventions depending on what needs to be improved in the daily life of the patients. In terms of nutrition, a shift to the Mediterranean diet is being attempted, whose role in the recovery of oncology patients has been proven by international studies.
Furthermore, for those patients who are assessed, exercise is prescribed, based on therapeutic exercise protocols defined by the Central Health Council (KESY). It is noted that this is a handwritten prescription that is not made through the IDIKA system. The exercise can be carried out either inside the nursing institution – “Attikon” has a therapeutic exercise center – or in other places. A similar center exists at the Medical School in Goudi. As Mrs. Kalaitzi mentioned, the assistance of the local government is needed so that the patients can exercise in the municipal gymnasiums.
Along with the above, the opportunity is given for psychological support as well as sleep hygiene. Most of the patients who have been served by the practice had sleep problems, which were largely resolved.
“We have, fortunately, many patients who survive cancer. Until now we have not had a structure that deals with such issues”noted the President of the School of Medicine, Nikos Arkadopoulos.
On her part, the Professor of Oncology Pathology at the EKPA, Director of the 2nd Pathological Pre-Education Clinic at the Attica Hospital, Amanda Psirri, pointed out that this new practice strengthens the love that many patients feel for themselves after being diagnosed with cancer. The initiative was welcomed by the director of the nursing institution, Spyros Apostolopoulos.