Mahosot claims success with new breast cancer treatment
Mahosot Hospital has presented the results of the so-called Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines for doctors using a traditional medicinal plant to treat women with the disease.
According to the President of the Lao Breast Cancer Association, Dr Saifone Phounsavanh, this method was employed by experts at the association last year under the Asbestos and Breast Cancer Disease Screening Project which aimed to reduce cancer mortality rates through early screening, intervention and diagnosis.
The traditional medicinal plant phak ka dao .
In 2016, some 200 women in Laos presented with abnormalities in the breast, indicating probable breast cancer. According to doctors, about 27 of these women were found to have breast cancer and they all survived after eating the traditional medicinal plant phak ka dao (Melia indica), Dr Saifone said.
“Undoubtedly, early screening and intervention for this disease and others cancers is crucial,” he added.
Dr Saifone spoke yesterday to Vientiane Times ahead of a workshop for hospital staff to report on the results of this method of treatment which targeted women with breast cancer aged 45-50. This group is particularly at risk due to the effects of hormone imbalance, late menstruation and delayed pregnancy.
According to Dr Saifone the disease can be so aggressive that if women don't receive treatment promptly they could die within one month.
New methods could play an important role in helping to improve detection and treatment and ongoing research is related to women actually living with breast cancer.
“The main benefit of our research is the improved detection of tissue abnormalities, so that suspicious areas are more quickly identified,” he said.
Using older methods, out of 100 women who presented with symptoms of breast cancer, about 50 women would die because the disease spread very quickly. It took a long time to make a definitive diagnosis and frequently women with the disease died before it was even detected, he added.
He explained that research into breast cancer screening was the result of the Lao Breast Cancer Association teaming up with specialists from medical schools in China and the United States. The success of new methods was confirmed by research undertaken at several universities.
Dr Saifone, who has studied the examination, treatment and prevention of breast cancer for over 24 years, maintained that new methods lowered the risk of mortality.
From 2000 to 2016, breast cancer was detected in about 500 women in Laos, of whom 100 women are still living.
Worldwide, about 600,000 women die from breast cancer every year, with those in the 45-50 age group particularly at risk.
By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update February 1, 2017)