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Cancer Treatment

  • Comprehensive Cancer Treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals

    mount elizabeth hospital cancer specialist

    Cancer specialists at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals specialise in different approaches of cancer treatment, including medical, surgical, radiation and others. The following are some of the treatments available:

    Medical Oncology

    Radiation Oncology

  • How is Cancer Treated?

    Radiation therapy machine for cancer treatment

    The 3 more common approaches to treat cancer are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

    Tumours can be directly removed through surgery, especially during early stages for some cancers. This is usually considered the most effective way to reduce the number of cancer cells in the body.

    Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy or restrict the growth of cancer cells. Often known simply as ‘chemo’, this is used also to ‘mop up’ the remaining cancer cells in the patient’s body after going through surgery and radiation therapy. If chemotherapy is not done, cancer cells that have spread to other places in the body may be left to grow in the patient. This may result in a relapse of the disease in a different body part that often surfaces as late-stage cancer.

    Chemotherapy is also much maligned due to its range of possible side effects, which may affect the patient’s quality of life. These include loss of appetite, nausea, ulcers, fatigue, hair loss, diarrhoea and nerve damage.

    Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to kill cancer cells in a targeted small area. This can also be used to shrink a tumour in order for it to be surgically removed.

    The ideal treatment option is selected based on the location of the tumour, stage of the cancer and other patient factors. The doctor may recommend the strategic use of chemotherapy treatment to kill cancer cells, a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body or other combination approaches.

    With recent medical advances, we offer treatments such as Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which can target a high dose of radiation directly to the cancer cells while the surrounding healthy tissues are exposed to as little radiation as possible, resulting in more effective treatment and fewer side effects.

  • Cancers We Treat

    Breast cancer

    Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is the number 1 most common cancer that afflict women in Singapore. About 1,850 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. With early detection, breast cancer can be effectively treated. Find out more about the symptoms of breast cancer, and how it can be detected and treated.

    Cervical cancer

    Cervical Cancer

    Cervical cancer is the 10th most common female cancer in Singapore. About 190 cases are diagnosed every year. Early cervical cancer may present with no symptoms. Find out more about the symptoms of cervical cancer, and how it can be detected and treated.

    Colorectal cancer

    Colorectal Cancer

    Colorectal cancer is the top cancer affecting men and the 2nd most common cancer affecting women in Singapore. You should screen for colorectal cancer if you are above 50 years old. Find out more about the symptoms of colorectal cancer, and how it can be detected and treated.

    Lung cancer

    Lung Cancer

    Lung cancer is the top cause of cancer death for men and the 2nd most common cause of cancer death for women in Singapore. People who are above 40 years old, are a tobacco smoker, or have family members that have lung cancer have the highest risk of getting lung cancer. Find out more about the symptoms of lung cancer, and how it can be detected and treated.

    Other Cancers We Treat

  • Special Cancer Treatments at Mount Elizabeth


    Peritonectomy and HIPEC

    Peritoneum cancer is cancer that affects the peritoneum, the ‘outer skin’ lining of the organs within the abdominal cavity, such as the stomach, colon and rectum, small intestines, liver, spleen and pancreas. Peritoneum cancer can either arise from itself, or when it spreads from the primary cancerous organ. This spread, known as metastasis, occurs commonly in cancers of the colorectal, gastric, ovarian or appendix area. Peritoneum cancer affects up to 25% of people with advanced gastrointestinal and gynaecological cancer, and it is a common terminal end point for people with advanced Stage 4 cancer.

    Peritonectomy (also known as cytoreductive surgery) and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a new combined procedure proven to increase the effectiveness in fighting peritoneal cancer. Following peritonectomy surgery to remove the intra-abdominal tumour along with the affected peritoneal lining, a special HIPEC solution is perfused into the abdominal cavity at 42 degrees Celsius for up to 90 minutes (Sugarbaker protocol). This direct delivery of chemotherapy has a higher chance of completely killing all remaining cancer cells on the peritoneal surface.

    Peritonectomy and HIPEC can double the average survival rate of suitable patients who have abdominal cancers with peritoneal metastases. For patients with colorectal cancer that has spread to their peritoneum, up to 30% of patients suitable for HIPEC are able to survive for 5 years or even cured, something that was previously almost impossible. With complication rates of less than 10%, it is a procedure accepted worldwide and have shown to improve the survival and recovery rates of cancer patients who are able to undergo this procedure.

    thyroid cancer and thyroid disease


    A thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck, and it is responsible for the production of hormones that regulate the metabolism. A thyroidectomy is a procedure that treats thyroid cancer and other major thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid gland.

    Whether the thyroid gland is removed in whole or partially depends on the particular condition. For example, if cancer only affects a specific portion of the gland, it may be feasible for the surgeon to only remove that portion. In these cases, there is a chance that the thyroid can continue to function normally. If the thyroid gland is removed in whole, hormone replacement therapy will be required to replace regular thyroid function.

    Orthopaedic Cancer

    Orthopaedic Cancer Management

    Cancer of the bones and soft tissue are relatively rare compared to the most common cancers, but this can also mean that expertise in its management may be less commonly found. In many cases of bone cancer, a common treatment approach is amputation of the entire affected limb. At Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, we have orthopaedic surgeons that are experienced in limb salvaging therapy, where it may be possible to treat the bone cancer without the need for entire limb amputation.

    Limb salvaging treatment involves the removal of the part of bone affected by cancer. Bone grafts may be required to replace the removed bone, or in some cases a prosthesis or implant may be used. The feasibility of limb salvaging treatment requires the effective use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to control and eradicate cancer cells either prior or post-surgery. Successful management of bone cancer requires the cooperation and contribution of surgeons and specialists from multiple specialties such as medical oncology, radiation oncology, orthopaedic oncology etc.

    IVF after Ovarian Tissue Freezing

    Ovarian Tissue Freezing

    While ovarian tissue freezing, also known as cryopreservation, is not an actual cancer treatment, it is an option made available to female cancer patients who are about to undergo treatment. Certain cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may affect the ovaries of a patient, especially in the case of breast cancer, ovarian cancer or cervical cancer. A female cancer patient who has gone through these treatments may find that they are unable to conceive after the treatment is complete.

    Ovarian tissue freezing is the removal of ovarian tissue and eggs and freezing them in order to preserve their functionality. After cancer treatment is completed, the preserved tissue may be implanted back into the patient’s body, or it may be used as part of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). It is a method for female cancer patients to preserve their fertility so that they can continue to conceive after their cancer is cured, and can be especially useful for young women who have cancer.

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