Laos has seen success in the treatment of women with breast cancer this year, using a new method called neutrino-medicine, raising hopes of reducing the high mortality rate from this disease.
The neutrino-medicine method has been used by experts from the Lao Breast Cancer Association at Mahosot Hospital since the end of 2015, Director General of Mahosot Hospital, Associate Prof. Dr Bounthaphany Bounxouei, said.
President of the Lao Breast Cancer Association, Dr Saifone Phounsavan, spoke to Vientiane Times on Saturday at an event to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 25.
He said that in 2016, more than 100 women who presented with symptoms of breast cancer were still alive after being treated with the new method, while one woman had died.
Using older methods of treatment, he said, 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.
Research into the neutrino-medicine method began in 2000 when experts from the Lao Breast Cancer Association teamed up with specialists from medical schools in China and the United States.
We studied the examination, treatment and prevention of breast cancer, including examination and treatment using the old method, Dr Saifone said.
He added that based on 16 years of experience in the field of breast cancer in the world and at Mahosot Hospital, he could confirm that the neutrino-medicine method lowered the risk of mortality.
Associate Prof. Dr Bounthaphany, a key researcher in the method said tests to date had shown that most women with breast cancer survived the disease, which is usually fatal.
The disease can be so aggressive that if women don’t receive treatment promptly they can die within one week or one month of diagnosis, he added.
He said the new method would play an important role in helping to improve the detection and treatment of cancer. The main benefit is the improved detection of tissue abnormalities, so that suspicious areas are more quickly identified.
The success of this new method was confirmed by the results of research undertaken at several universities.
According to the Lao Breast Cancer Association, in January and February this year, some 420 women in Laos presented with abnormalities in the breast, indicating probable breast cancer. Of this number, 38 survived after being treated using the new method.
From 2000 to 2016, breast cancer was detected in about 1,500 women in Laos, of whom 100 women are still living.
Worldwide, about 500,000 women die from breast cancer each year, with women in the 45-50 age group being particularly at risk.
Source: Vientiane Times