Multidisciplinary approach is essential in cancer treatment

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in our country and in the world. Globally, one-sixth of the death-toll, and one-fifth in our country, is due to cancer. About one-third of cancer deaths are caused by behavioral and nutritional risk factors.

These risk factors include obesity, cigarette consumption, a diet poor in fruits and vegetables, a sedentary lifestyle, and use of alcohol. In particular, tobacco use is an important risk factor for cancer and accounts for 22 percent of cancer deaths. Hepatitis and HPV virus, on the other hand, account for about 25 percent of cancer cases in low and mid-income countries. Today, 30-50 percent of cancer cases can be prevented by avoiding risk factors and by early diagnosis. However, early diagnosis and subsequent treatment is possible with joint evaluations and treatments of multiple branches.

More than one branch or discipline plays a role in the diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases, especially when it comes to cancer. This is called a "multiple branch" or "multidisciplinary approach". Physicians of the relevant surgical branch, radiotherapist, medical oncologist, pathology specialist and radiology specialist are among the branches that must be present in the councils, called tumor councils, where there are specialists from different branches. 

Particularly in the treatment of cancer, it has become a necessity to involve more than one branch in the treatment process because cancer treatment has taken a very different and complex form compared to the past. The division of cancer patients into many subgroups, the rapid change in diagnosis and treatment approaches, the fact that cancer patients live longer than before, and problems that were not seen before in this process have made it impossible for cancer patients to be managed by a single doctor.

Taking all these problems into account, nowadays, modern oncology centers have a cancer team consisting of oncologists, surgeons, radiotherapists, nuclear medicine and radiology specialists, interventional radiologists and other related physicians. These teams also handle patients holistically and ensure that the most appropriate treatment options are offered and applied.




Interventional methods also require a multidisciplinary approach

Classic treatment methods in oncology include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. In some types of cancer, one of these methods may be sufficient, while in others it may be necessary to use some or all of these methods at the same time or in a certain order. Interventional radiological methods have also played an important role in cancer treatment, especially after the 2000s. These methods, which are also called "interventional oncology”, make it possible to enter the skin with a needle and destroy the tumors. In addition, interventions made via an artery are also in use. Interventional oncological methods, like radiotherapy and surgery, are used as an alternative in some patients because these are effective treatments in a certain part of the body. Since cancer treatments take a long time, many patients need to use interventional oncological methods among themselves or in combination with classic methods such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.