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‘Spectacular’ results seen in prostate cancer immunotherapy trial

07/06/2018

In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. It’s also overtaken breast cancer in recent years to become the third most common type of cancer. That’s why any news when it comes to potential prostate cancer breakthroughs is always exciting. Immunotherapy has been revolutionising the treatment of cancer and now a team from the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London have conducted a trial, the results of which they say are "spectacular" and a "big deal". The trial focussed on drugs that boost a patient’s immune system, saving the lives of some men with terminal prostate cancer. Immunotherapy works by helping a person’s immune system recognise and subsequently attack cancer cells. One of the study participants, Michael English, 72, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone-based therapies did not kill his cancer, however. Then, two years ago, he started taking the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab. Today, he is effectively cancer free, with scans no longer showing any signs of the tumour.   However, it’s an approach that will not, unfortunately, help all men. In fact, only between 10% and 15% of patients had any response to the therapy at all. This is not something that’s unusual for immunotherapy. Nell Barrie, from Cancer Research UK, said: "The next step will be to find out how to tell which men will benefit from taking this drug. "This is important as although immunotherapy is exciting, it can have severe side effects".

New prostate cancer test hailed as a breakthrough

24/04/2018

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 47,000 new cases diagnosed every year. And up until now, the most widely used tests for the disease had included the PSA blood test, a digital rectal examination (DRE), MRI scans and a biopsy. However, each of these wasn’t without its problems. But now a new ultrasound process, which offers more successful diagnosis and management of prostate cancer, has been identified by researchers at Dundee University. The technique, known as non-invasive shear wave elastography (SWE), offers "much greater accuracy and reliability" than current methods and is less expensive, according to the researchers. It targets the prostate with ultrasound and was evaluated using a study at Dundee University involving around 200 patients. Because cancerous tissue is denser than normal tissue, the shear waves are slowed as they pass through it. During the study, the technique was able to successfully identify 89% of prostate cancers, as well as other more aggressive cancers, including those spreading outside of the prostate. Ghulam Nabi, professor of surgical uro-oncology at Dundee University, said, "Prostate cancer is one of the most difficult to pinpoint. "We are still in a position where our diagnosis of prostate cancer is extremely inefficient, leading to unnecessary treatments for many patients." Speaking about the new test, Prof Nabi said it was “like someone has turned the lights on in a darkened room."

Pancreatic cancer symptoms: why you should never ignore back pain

13/02/2018

You should never ignore back pain because it could be a sign of pancreatic cancer. That’s the frank warning from charity Pancreatic Cancer UK. While pancreatic cancer often doesn’t show any symptoms in its early stages, some signs may begin to show as the disease progresses. One of the earliest signs of the disease is abdominal and/or back pain. The pain usually starts as a general feeling of discomfort in the stomach area. This then spreads to a person’s back and while it may come and go at first, it often becomes constant over time. “It can be worse when lying down, and sitting forward can sometimes make it feel better. It may be worse after eating. The tummy area may also feel tender,” said the charity. Other symptoms of pancreatic cancer include indigestion and unexplained weight loss. People with pancreatic cancer also develop jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and may experience difficulty swallowing, vomiting and a change in bowel habits. Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above should see their doctor without delay. While the exact cause of pancreatic cancer still isn’t known, the disease does appear to mainly affect people over 75 years old. Experts say that people can lower their risk of developing it by reducing their consumption of alcohol and red meat. [Related reading: Prostate cancer deaths outnumber those from breast cancer for first time in UK]

Prostate cancer deaths outnumber those from breast cancer for first time in UK

06/02/2018

New figures show that for the first time ever the number of men dying from prostate cancer in the UK has overtaken female deaths from breast cancer. While lung and bowel cancer remain the top cancer killers, prostate cancer is now third, according to figures released by Prostate Cancer UK. In 2015, 11,819 men died from prostate cancer, compared to 11,442 women from breast cancer – a reality that Prostate Cancer UK says is due to advances in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The charity says that the UK’s aging population is one of the reasons why more men are developing and dying from prostate cancer. Angela Culhane, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said prostate cancer survival rates could be increased by developing better diagnostic tests and using them to form a nationwide screening programme. At present, there is no single, reliable test for prostate cancer. Also, men with the disease can live for decades without showing any symptoms. Those most at risk are men with male relatives who have had the disease, black men and men aged over 50. Ms Culhane said: “It's incredibly encouraging to see the tremendous progress that has been made in breast cancer over recent years. “The good news is that many of these developments could be applied to prostate cancer and we're confident that with the right funding, we can dramatically reduce deaths within the next decade.” You can find out more about prostate cancer treatment with us here at France Surgery by visiting the oncology section of our website and selecting the prostate cancer link.

Long-term aspirin use associated with significant reduction in colorectal cancer risk

31/10/2017

A new large-scale study has found that using aspirin long-term could slash the chances of developing gastrointestinal cancer. Of all the gastrointestinal cancers, which include pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, oesophageal cancer, stomach (or gastric) cancer and small intestine cancer, colorectal cancer is the most common in the western world. While there are a number of lifestyle changes people can make to reduce their risk of developing cancer, including avoiding tobacco, limiting their alcohol consumption, eating healthier and exercising more, an increasing number of studies suggest the use of aspiring could also help. For this latest study, Prof. Kelvin Tsoi, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and his team set out to investigate the effect of aspirin use on gastrointestinal cancers. Over a 10-year period, the team of scientists examined over 600,000 participants and analysed how aspirin use affected their chances of developing gastrointestinal cancer. They found that aspirin users were 47% less likely to have liver and oesophageal cancer, 38% less likely to have stomach cancer, 34% less likely to have pancreatic cancer and 24% less likely to have colorectal cancer. In addition, aspirin use also significantly reduced the risk of leukaemia, lung cancer and prostate cancer.

Laser Prostate Cancer Treatment Hailed as 'Truly Transformative'

30/12/2016

A new treatment for early stage prostate cancer has been described as "truly transformative" by surgeons. The approach, which has been tested across Europe, uses lasers and a drug made from deep sea bacteria to eliminate tumours, without any severe side effects. The results of clinical trials on some 413 men, which were published in The Lancet Oncology, showed nearly half of them had no remaining trace of cancer. One of the biggest issues for men with early stage prostate cancer is that treatment often leads to lifelong impotence and incontinence. That's why many men choose the "wait and see" approach when they are diagnosed in the early stages and only opt for treatment if their cancer starts growing aggressively. These new findings turn that approach on its head and "change everything," according to Prof Mark Emberton, who tested the technique at University College London. The bacteria that the drug is made from live in total darkness and become toxic when exposed to light. This is how the new treatment works. Fibre optic lasers are inserted through the perineum (the gap between the anus and the testes) and into the cancerous prostate gland. When they are activated the drug kills the cancer and leaves the healthy prostate behind. While the fact that 49% of patients went into complete remission is remarkable in itself, the additional finding that impact on sexual activity and urination lasted for no more than three months makes the treatment even more amazing. Even though more research is needed, the findings of the study are being hailed as "truly transformative" for prostate cancer patients.

Study: Yoga has Potential to Boost Quality of Life for Prostate Cancer Patients

26/11/2015

Here at France Surgery, we’re all about promoting health and wellbeing. Eating right, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy mind, by practising yoga or meditating, for example, are all things we encourage our patients and worldwide followers to do. But now a new study has found that yoga, in particular, could benefit male prostate cancer patients who are undergoing radiation therapy. More often than not, male prostate cancer patients experience a range of side effects while receiving radiation therapy, including fatigue, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and a general decline in their overall quality of life. The new study, however, despite being small, showed found that men who attended a 75-minute yoga class twice a week experienced a stable quality of life throughout. Furthermore, their side effects also remained stable over the same period. In a press release, Dr. Neha Vapiwala, an associate professor in the radiation oncology department of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "Data have consistently shown declines in these important measures among prostate cancer patients undergoing cancer therapy without any structured fitness interventions, so the stable scores seen with our yoga program are really good news." The researchers suggest that regular yoga strengthens pelvic floor muscles and increases blood flow, which could have a positive impact on erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Moreover, the satisfaction and general happiness that patients get from participating in a group fitness activity further boost their quality of life. With nearly 240,000 American men each year diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, which funded the study, research such as this has the ability to vastly improve the quality of life of male prostate cancer patients going forward.

Prostate Cancer Drug Found to ‘Extend Lives’

28/05/2015

For prostate cancer sufferers, docetaxel is usually only given after hormone treatment has failed. But now a major study has revealed that earlier treatment with the drug can extend life expectancy anywhere from 43 to 65 months. The results, which will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, are being labelled as “potentially game-changing”. In the UK alone, 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11,000 die from the disease every year. The trial was conducted across Britain and Switzerland and involved 2,962 men. At the start of their treatment, some of the men were given six doses of docetaxel and subsequently lived 10 months longer than those that weren’t. However, patients who had already seen their cancer spread past their pelvis saw their life expectancies increase by 22 months. One of the researchers at Warwick University, Prof Nicholas James, who was involved in the study said he was very pleased with the results and emphasised that the NHS needed to act upon them quickly: "To see a 22-month survival advantage off six lots of treatment given several years earlier is a very big benefit.” Furthermore, the fact that docetaxel is out of patent means that it represents a potentially cost-effective method of treatment. Commenting on the study’s findings, Cancer Research UK said the results were “important” and "show that it should be given earlier in a man's treatment".   Photo credit: NHS

Robotic-Assisted (Da Vinci) Prostatectomy

23/01/2015

ROBOTIC-ASSISTED (DA VINCI) PROSTATECTOMY A radical prostatectomy is an operation carried out to remove the prostate for patients who have prostate cancer. Your prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that is situated at the base of your bladder. Its main function is to add liquid to your ejaculate (semen). Robotic-assisted (Da Vinci®) laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is the least invasive existing surgical technique to remove the prostate gland. During the operation, the surgeon will usually remove some lymph glands from the side of the prostate. The surgeon then proceeds with removal of your prostate and the two sacs behind the prostate (seminal vesicles). The bladder is then joined to the water pipe (urethra) which runs along the penis so that you can pass urine normally. A tube (catheter) is left in place for about 7 days to allow the join to heal. The operation will be performed by a surgeon who is skilled & experienced. There are several ways of performing a radical prostatectomy: Open radical prostatectomy, Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy carried out in the standard way,Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy carried out using robotic assistance. Prostate’s cancer removal radical prostatectomy is an operation which aims to remove the cancer and the prostate completely. The prostate, seminal vesicles & surrounding tissues are removed to provide the best possible chance of totally removing the cancer. However in some cases, it is found during pathology investigations of the removed prostate that the cancer has grown beyond the covering of the prostate gland. If this is the case, your urologist will discuss with you whether you need additional treatment such as radiotherapy. Therapeutic strategy will also depend on your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level which is monitored in all patients at frequent intervals. In the majority of men, your PSA will be close to zero at all times and you will not require further treatment. The robotic surgery allows faster recovery than open surgery, the most common technique used for prostatectomy. Surgeon’s vision is also improved compared to laparoscopic surgery allowing a more precise dissection. Please remember that early prostate cancer can be effectively treated. Most men with early prostate cancer will remain alive & healthy for many years to come! A robotic console Da Vinci® is placed beside you in the operating theatre. Attached to the console are three robotic arms; two for instruments and one for a high- magnification 3-D camera to allow the surgeon to see inside your abdomen. The two robotic arms have the ability to hold various instruments attached to them and allow the surgeon to carry out your operation. The instruments are approximately 7mm in width. The instruments have a greater range of movement than the human hand and, because of their size, allow the surgeon to carry out the operation using 3-D imaging in a small space within the body.

Important Health Tests for Men over 40

23/09/2014

Even if you feel absolutely fine and a picture of health, there are a number of routine medical tests that you should have later in life. In one of our previous posts we focussed on important medical tests for men and women over 40. Today’s post will look at specific guidelines for men aged over 40-years-old and should be considered in addition to the tests outlined in our aforementioned post above. Colon Cancer Screening Men aged under 50 do not necessarily need to undergo colon cancer screening unless there is a strong family history of the disease or if you have had inflammatory bowel disease in the past. If you are between 50 and 75, however, you should get routinely checked for colon cancer, which could involve a stool test every year or a colonoscopy every 10 years. Prostate Cancer Screening Most men should undergo prostate cancer screening when they reach the age of 50. However, men with a family history of the disease should consider prostate cancer checks earlier in life as a precaution. European-wide trials have shown that prostate cancer screening can reduce deaths from the disease by as much as 20%. Testicular Examination Examining your own testicles can identify abnormalities but the fact remains that most testicular lumps are not cancerous. However, if you do find any testicular lumps it is important to get them examined by a medical professional. Testicular cancer treatment is much more effective when started earlier, so consult medical advice if you find anything untoward.

Clinique des Cèdres

04/09/2014

Clinique des Cèdres, Toulouse Clinique des Cèdres was created in 1966 thanks to Dr Anduze-Acher. Since then it became the biggest private hospital in France with 603 beds and places. In 2003, its acquisition by Capio group – already settled in Toulouse with Polyclinique du Parc, Clinique St Jean du Languedoc, Clinique de Beaupuy – helped its development. Clinique des Cèdres provides state-of-the Art equipment to its medical teams.   Amongst the mini invasive surgical techniques: Robotic: In urology for the prostate cancer treatment, the kidney and bladder surgery In gynaecology for the uterus cancer surgery and the pelvic node dissection In ENT for the oral cavity, pharynx surgery, for the cellulo-node, nasopharyngeal surgery (cavum) Coelio-surgery for bariatric surgery Computer-aided surgery and strereotactic for the treatment of brain tumors Mini-invasive surgery for spine surgery (disc prothesis), orthopaedic surgery (perecutaneous foot surgery & trauma surgery) and rectal surgery (haemorrhoidal Doppler-assisted dearterization) 2. Advanced diagnosis techniques: Fluorescence technique in endoscopy for the early detection of lung cancers and bladder tumors 3D plan sensor in cardiology for the diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks and thoracic pains and in neuro radiology for the brain exploration and the therapeutic treatment of some brain vascular anomalies Non invasive Diagnosis-Imaging system: 64 strips scan Computerised diagnosis, evaluation, and follow-up care for knee cruciate ligament UNITS: 1. SURGICAL UNITS: more than 20 theatres covering a extremely wide variety of surgeries: Digestive surgery: ceolioscopy - endoscopy Orthopaedic surgery: arthroscopy Neurosurgery: neuronavigation device (O-arm concept) Ophthalmology ENT Outstanding surgical equipments include a stereotactic frame, a laminar flow, a laser, electronic microscopes and a DaVinci robot. 2. RECOVERY UNITS: the rooms are equipped with modern monitoring equipments and are under permanent anaesthetis supervision. Specialized nurses have the responsability of the post-operation personal follow-up care of the patient. 3. DIAGNOSIS AND MEDICAL IMAGING DEPARTMENT Angiography - Coronarography - Echigraphy - MRI - Mammography - Conventional and interventional radiology - Scan 4. NUCLEAR MEDICINE Functional and metabolic medical imagining, not accessible with conventional imaging equipment is performed in this department. 5. MEDICINE 6. INTENSIVE-CARE AND CONTINUOUS MONITORING UNIT 7. EMERGENCIES 8. HELIPAD 9. FUNCTIONAL PHYSIOTHERAPY 10. PSYCHIATRY 11. ONE-DAY HOSPITALISATION

Clinique Saint-Augustin

03/09/2014

Clinique Saint-Augustin, Nantes Clinique Saint Augustin is a private health institution, located in the heart of the city of Nantes. Created by the Augustinian Sisters in 1874, it now belongs to Vedici Group. The clinic features an innovative technical platform and disposes of a team of recognized experts who share strong values. The medical-surgical clinic offers the following specialties: Anaesthesia - Resuscitation General and Digestive Surgery Gastroenterology Proctology Urological surgery Vascular and Thoracic Surgery Pneumonology Orthopaedic Surgery Oto-Rhino-Laryngology Ophthalmic surgery Dentistry Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgery Key figures Surgical beds 137 Monitoring units 14 Hospital beds 17 Palliative care beds 4 Ambulatory places 19 Operating rooms 13 Endoscopy rooms 3 Post-operating monitoring rooms 2 The effectiveness of care provided at the clinic Saint Augustine rests, first and foremost, on the competence of the medical and nursing teams, their training and experience. It also relies on an innovative technical platform with advanced technological equipment with Da Vinci robot used since 2010 for the treatment of prostate cancer and kidney cancer.

Introduction to Robotic-assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy

13/08/2014

A radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure which is used for the treatment of prostate cancer by removing the prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue. There are four methods which can be used to perform a radical prostatectomy. One of the most advanced methods is the robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. To carry out this surgery the patient will be given either a general anaesthetic or a spinal/epidural anaesthetic in order to numb the lower half of the body.  The procedure to remove the prostate gland is then carried out.  The surgeon is in the operating room but does not personally operate on the patient. The surgeon instead sits at a computer and moves a robotic system. It is the robotic system which carries out the procedure guided and controlled by the surgeon.  The benefits of this surgery include the fact that it is carried out laparoscopically and so the scarring will be minimal and the healing time will be short. Also the robotic system allows for an extremely high degree of accuracy which cannot be achieved by the human hand.  Whilst not every hospital will have access to robotic systems, in France the healthcare system is progressive and advanced, meaning that many hospitals will offer this robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. Photo Credit: France Surgery

Centre For Robotic Surgery: Facts about Enlarged Prostate Gland – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

16/08/2013

Centre For Robotic Surgery: Facts about Enlarged Prostate Gland – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasiacentreforroboticsurgery: Prostate Cancer The prostate is a male reproductive gland that yields the liquefied that transmits sperm during ejaculation. It environs the urethra, the pipe through which urine passes out of the body. The prostate gland (just called prostate from now on) is found only in men. It lies…

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