Offering state-of-the-art medical treatment in a prompt, efficient and compassionate manner is what makes SKMCH&RC stand out amongst the medical institutions within the region. The Medical Oncology department at SKMCH&RC aims to make international standard cancer care available to the people of Pakistan.
Almost all consultants in Medical Oncology department at SKMCH&RC hold foreign qualifications. Due to a shortage of highly experienced staff, consultants are also training our own doctors to become accomplished oncologists in near future. An intense, fiercely intellectual academic atmosphere exists at SKMCH&RC, where the latest advances in different fields of medicine are discussed in various teaching sessions held weekly.
Facilities & Services
Cancer is a complex and multidimensional disease. Patients at SKMCH&RC are assessed in multidisciplinary clinics where a team of medical, radiation and surgical oncologists work together to prepare personalised treatment plans. Patients are then treated in accordance with disease-specific internationally-accepted management guidelines. The most latest and novel treatment is given to our patients irrespective of their background.
The broad range of diseases treated by the department includes leukaemia and lymphomas to brain tumours as well as solid tumours. From morning till midnight, between 80 and 100 patients receive chemotherapy in our specially designated chemotherapy ward. Since 2006, we also offer autologous bone marrow transplant for adults and children.
There is a weekly long-term follow up clinic in which patients that have completed five years of treatment are evaluated for long-term side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
At SKMCH&RC, patients are given up-to-date and understandable information about their disease and treatment process. We also understand the emotional needs of our patients. Those patients who are diagnosed with cancer are guided and supported by our team of psychologists, play therapists for paediatric patients, trained oncology nurses, social workers, nutritionists, and a cancer support group made up of successfully treated cancer patients at the Hospital.
One Stop Breast Clinic
Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies amongst women worldwide and Pakistani women carry one of the highest incidences of this cancer in all of Asia. Due to this heavy burden of this disease, SKMCH&RC shoulders the responsibility of accurately and efficiently diagnosing breast cancer while making sure that we differentiate cancer from the wide spectrum of other benign disorders that exist in women.
Therefore, the creation and management of the One Stop Breast Clinic is considered as one of the Medical Oncology department’s leading achievements. The mission of the One Stop Breast Clinic is to assist each woman through an imaging work-up efficiently and seamlessly with minimal discomfort and anxiety. Over 500 patients visit the One Stop Breast Clinic each year.
Housed in the Radiology Department, the multi-modality One Stop Breast Clinic is supervised and run by staff from SKMCH&RC’s Surgery, Pathology, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine departments with the option of calling oncology consultants for opinions and advice when necessary. In the span of one appointment, which lasts between 2-3 hours, each patient undergoes an initial assessment with investigations aimed at an accurate diagnosis and a proper outlined course of treatment. A new patient is registered on the morning of an appointment and proceeds onwards with an initial history and physical examination by a Breast Surgeon. Appropriate investigations are decided upon and completed by expert radiologists right then and there, which generally includes a mammogram and an ultrasound complemented by a needle biopsy where indicated. SKMCH&RC’s efficient pathology services deliver a prompt preliminary diagnosis which aids in planning treatment.
Nearly 80% of patients are assessed for benign disease with prompt reassurance and further management plans chalked out and handed to them at the end of the appointment. This efficiency helps to alleviate the excruciating stress of waiting for results. Those patients diagnosed with cancer complete a staging work-up, greatly expediting their transit to initiation of targeted therapy and minimising unnecessary delays.
Training in Medical Oncology has been established within the department. The fellowship programme in Medical Oncology provides training in all aspects of medical oncology through a structured training programme recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, leading to FCPS in medical Oncology. The department also supports a training programme in Clinical Oncology leading to FRCR(clinical oncology).
The department has been involved in a number of in-house clinical research projects as well as participating in several multinational clinical trials. The department has contributed posters and abstracts to several national and international meetings