Cancer – A common, relentless and increasingly enemy worldwide

Dental Medicine, when it is evolved, predictable and safe, has the moral obligation to leave the trenches of conformism and step into the forefront of the battlefield, where the challenge is daily and never-ending. The qualified professionals, who work in such a specific field as Oral Rehabilitation, are expected to find solutions that are not always feasible at first, in the first appointment, in the first examinations, something known as:

“thinking out of the the box…”

Thinking out of  the box is nothing more than coming up with unorthodox solutions or, at least, not so obvious or likely, and, especially in the context of medicine, these must be tested, safe and ethically correct.

We haven’t invented anything, we haven’t created anything, we haven’t been pioneers in anything at all. There are no secrets. Just the need to be competent and make a difference.

This team is deeply proud of its dedication to this project, we live CERO and to CERO. This team is a group of health professionals devoted to each patient, turning the treatment plan into an authentic, unique, careful treatment, of which we are proud.

The team is committed to gathering all our knowledge and experience accumulated over the years, deploying the best methods known today, with cutting-edge equipment and facilities, and, with all these elements together, we can aim for a final product that pleases the patient first and our entire team as well.

Epidemiology of Cancer

Regarding cancer, recent studies have shown that 1 in 4 people will develop cancer during their lifetime and, of these, 1 in 3 will die due to it. Although cold and violent, these numbers become even sadder and impactful if we remember that each number corresponds to a person, a patient who is someone’s father, someone’s son, someone’s husband and friend.

The people, often wise, tend to say: “it is one of those things that either the disease or the cure will kill you… “

This is partially true, since cancer treatments are often violent, deforming, especially in the maxillofacial area and, generally speaking, from the body standpoint, both radiotherapy and chemotherapy have side-effects that can take from six months to several years to disappear, after the treatment cycles are concluded.

Patients live longer, thus deal with a greater number of diseases

More and more, our patients take different medications simultaneously, have multiple pathologies, some chronic and others with an acute clinical case, some are manageable, others not that much, and we cannot simply stick our head in the sand and ignore a complicated situation, something that is often seen with invasive treatments in patients for whom such treatment would not be the first, the safest, the most ethical, the most necessary option.

Each patient needs a specific, rigorous treatment plan, taking into account the clinical and surgical concerns we cannot recommend the same treatment for all patients in an irresponsible, careless and ignorant way.

Current guidelines

Among colleagues, we often exchange ideas, clinical cases, opinions, concerns and we frequently comment on the fact that the more we study, the more we know, the more careful and worried we become with the possible, common and rare complications and we are not in a position to take any risks regarding our professional licenses, much less, and even more importantly, to jeopardize the most precious thing each patient has, their Health and Quality of life.

Medicine’s current tendency is to classify health as something more complex than the simple absence of pain or disease, but rather as a state where there is physical, psychological well-being and where the patient’s quality of life is improved with a certain treatment. (a free adaptation of the definition established by the World Health Organization – WHO)

The subject of my thesis and research project, conducted at the University of London, broadly speaking, was the development of instruments to assess the quality of life of our patients, before and after surgeries and after the conclusion of treatments.

With that, we managed to collect precious data on the impact of treatments on our patients’ daily activities, and how these relate to family, friends and co-workers, whenever applicable.

What lies ahead

We live in a never-ending quest for scientific knowledge, for the improvement of techniques, so that we can give to each, at a specific moment in their lives, and with the conditions found by our Clinical Team, the best possible treatment in order to increase the quality of life of our patients.

Nevertheless, there are cases where treatment is not possible at that moment and the best therapeutic decision is not to do anything, postponing any intervention, waiting for more favorable pathophysiological and psychological conditions.

The communication between colleagues, different specialties, different treatment centers is decisive to ensure the patients’ clinical safety, exchanging medical opinions, consulting the whole clinical process, submitting tests, requesting additional analyses and examinations that may be necessary to define the clinical picture and conduct the appropriate treatment plans.

We have recently published a case of one of our patients, who has fought this critical, scary enemy known as cancer. After consulting the clinical process, talking to the Oncology Team that follows the patient and, frankly, one that made itself totally available to give us all the clinical information requested by our Clinic and that, alongside us, in a decision-making procedure, sharing responsibilities, helped us and the patient to find the possible solution, at that specific timeframe, within the standards of medical accuracy, clinical safety and excellence.

If you want to see this patient’s thorough case, click on the following link:

 https://www.facebook.com/tiagoribeirocero/posts/2244081839161773?__tn__=K-R

How to be aware and responsible in the medical profession

We must always be careful whenever we criticize the work of fellows colleagues, since we are in a medical field where, sometimes, our colleagues are subjected to unfavorable conditions and clinical limitations, with which we work towards a committed solution to carry out the best possible treatment to increase and restore the quality of life of our patients.

Lastly, I want to thank you for your attention and promptness to read this article, but, more importantly, I want to thank the example of courage, tenacity and love for life that patients with cancer bring to us, showing to humanity that we often give importance to situations that are nothing but a waste of time.

See you soon and don’t forget to be happy. After all, smiling doesn’t hurt …

If that’s your case, if smiling causes you pain, nausea, or imbalance, check with your dentist…

Until next time!

Dr. Luis Pinheiro

Dr. Luis Pinheiro

- Luis Pinheiro, Dentist with exclusive practice in Oral Surgery and Implantology

- Accountable for the Oral Surgery and Implantology Department at C.E.R.O.

- Master’s Degree in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Eastman Dental Institute of the University College of London

- International Scientific Consultant of D.I.S. – dental implant system

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