The Oncology Centre at the HPA Hospital in Gambelas (Faro) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week.
In a statement to the press, the HPA Group highlights that it was the “first private Oncology Centre to open south of Lisbon”.
The first consultation and chemotherapy treatment took place on July 27, 2011, and was carried out by Dr António Fráguas, a “renowned name in the Algarve in this specialty”.
Says the group, the centre’s services and specialisations have “grown exponentially” since it was launched.
“In the last five years, the daily number of treatment sessions has almost tripled,” it says, adding that, in 2018, its clinical safety standards obtained Joint Commission International recognition, one of the most prestigious accreditations at a global level.
“In addition to chemotherapy (oral, intravenous or intravesical), other cancer treatments are also available such as targeted therapies; oral, intramuscular or subcutaneous hormone therapy; immunotherapy and monoclonal antibody treatment,” the group says.
Apart from oncology, other services include haemato-oncology and nurse consultations, permanent support from any medical specialty, as well as nutrition, psychology and physiotherapy.
“Permanent research, such as its clinical trials, is a determining factor in the field of oncology, and the service has also gained notoriety in this area,” the group says.
“There are currently two ongoing trials for cutaneous and colorectal carcinoma. And for the first time in Portugal, two new therapies have been used, namely for breast cancer and gastric cancer, associating immunotherapy with chemotherapy.”
The centre is also one of the few to offer cryotherapy through the scalp cooling system, a cooling helmet that reduces the likelihood of alopecia (hair loss), which is “so common during chemotherapy treatments, causing great psychological and social suffering for patients”.
Adds the group: “We have invested significantly in the area of oncology, as unfortunately (cancer) prevalence remains high and premature mortality is still significant in some types of cancer. The path we have taken over these past 10 years has been very gratifying as we feel we can effectively make a difference in people’s lives, in their quality of life and wellbeing.”
The HPA health group has two other oncology services: at Hospital Particular de Alvor and at Hospital Particular da Madeira.