Montefiore Hospital leads the way in one day treatment for breast care

The Montefiore Hospital has introduced an innovative radiation treatment for early stage breast cancer which will mean certain patients can be treated in just one day.

Most patients with early stage breast cancer undergo a lumpectomy to surgically remove the tumour. Following surgery, the standard treatment is daily radiation over several weeks to ensure that any remaining cancerous cells are destroyed to lessen the risk of the cancer re-occurring.

Now, thanks to a procedure known as intraoperative radiotherapy or IORT, The Montefiore's breast surgeons and clinical oncologists can administer a single high dose of radiation to the site of the tumour during the operation. The patient wakes up having received a full treatment and is able to return to their daily routine much more quickly.

Although IORT has been extensively trialled in the UK, it is not yet widely available and The Montefiore Hospital is one of the first in the country to offer the treatment to appropriate stage 1 and 2 breast cancer patients. Breast Consultants Mr Riccardo Bonomi and Mr Charles Zammit carried out the first operations on Thursday April 18 at the hospital.

One of the patients who received the IORT treatment said afterwards: "It feels almost surreal – instead of struggling through radiotherapy, I've had one operation on one day and now the cancer is no longer hanging over me. Given the circumstances, the experience was as good as it could be and I would advocate this treatment to all women."

Mr Bonomi said: "As well as the physical effect, cancer has an enormous emotional impact on patients and we believe that quality of life is a very important factor for recovery. Not having to make a daily trip to hospital for the next six weeks will allow our patient to get on with getting better. Access to this single dose technique makes the whole treatment process so much easier for her and other patients"

Mr Zammit said: "The IORT system we are using has been developed in America and The Montefiore is one of the first hospitals in the UK to use it. This particular system not only reduces treatment time to less than 10 minutes, but it also reduces radiation exposure to healthy tissues and organs. Our goal is to eradicate the cancer cells by safely administering a high dose of radiation to a targeted area.

"However not all breast cancer patients are suitable for IORT as there are specific criteria that indicate when it should be used. For example, it is not usually recommended for patients under 45 years of age or where the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. We want to offer IORT as a treatment option to all eligible patients and hope that as many as possible will benefit," concluded Mr Zammit.


The Montefiore Hospital is the first hospital in the world to incorporate the works of Brian Eno in the design of the building

The Spire Healthcare group actively encouraged the medical staff working in the hospital to contribute to the design of the interior of the building, ensuring that patients are treated and staff can work in the best possible environment.

It is this involvement in the project that has resulted in The Montefiore Hospital being the first in the world to incorporate into its design two individual light and sound installations by Brian Eno: The "Quiet Room for Montefiore" is a room available downstairs to patients, visitors and staff as a place to "escape" - somewhere to think, take stock or simply relax; "77 Million Paintings for Montefiore" is an installation of light and generative music in the reception area.

To read further coverage in the Independent, please click here.


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How to treat your heart this Valentine's day

By Lucy Blows, Consultant Cardiologist at The Montefiore Hospital

Your heart is the body's engine room, beating around 100,000 times a day to pump blood to every cell. It's got to be in pretty good shape to do this, so help it out by giving it some love!

Your heart is happy when you:

Keep active
Like any other muscle, the heart benefits from exercise.   The best type is moderate intensity aerobic activity which translates as repetitive rhythmic exercise that raises your heartbeat, makes you breathe harder but not to the point where you can't speak!  Good examples are brisk walking, running, cycling and exercise classes like aerobics and zumba. 

Eat a good diet
That means plenty of fruit and vegetables, lots of starchy foods like pasta, rice, bread and potatoes, moderate amounts of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products and small amounts of fat and sugar.  Eat regularly and don't skip breakfast as you will be more tempted by high fat/high sugar snacks come mid-morning.  

Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight is not good for your heart.  Not only does it have to work harder, but conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, that are connected to excess weight, put an added strain on your heart.   If you are overweight, then slimming down will make a big difference to your heart.   

Stop Smoking
Stopping smoking is perhaps the biggest boost you can give your heart.  Smokers have almost double the chance of having a heart attack compared to people who have never smoked.  It's never too late to give up - if you need a reason, do it for the one you love on Valentine's Day.

Go easy on the booze
While much is written about the benefits of a glass of red wine, the fact remains that too much alcohol is bad for your heart.  In excess, it can cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure and lead to heart disease and strokes. Try not to exceed the recommended daily amounts of 2-3 units for a woman and 3-4 units for a man.  Even if you just drink occasionally, these guidelines still apply – you can't save up unused units for a binge! 

Lucy Blows is a Consultant Cardiologist at The Montefiore Hospital in Hove where she holds private consultations for heart problems. For further information call 01273 828120 or visit www.spiremontefiore.com

The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.


Montefiore Hospital Gets "Green Light" for New Prostate Treatment

THANKS to a pioneering surgeon, patients with prostate problems at The Montefiore Hospital will be back on their feet much sooner after surgery.

Tim Larner has been using the Greenlight laser to reduce prostate size since 2003 and is recognised internationally as an expert in this technique.

He said: "For its relatively small size the prostate gland causes a disproportionate amount of trouble. It's about the size of a walnut in a young man but gets larger with age and its location just below the bladder can mean a knock-on effect on the waterworks. Often the symptoms can be kept at bay with medication, but this doesn't suit everyone. Sometimes the drugs themselves cause side effects, creating more problems or patients get fed up with taking pills forever more.

"Surgery to reduce the volume of the prostate can dramatically improve symptoms and quality of life. But operations are not without their downsides and traditional prostate surgery often means bleeding and a spell in hospital of several days.

"However, the Greenlight laser, while just as effective, causes virtually no bleeding. This means patients spend a much shorter time in hospital – usually just overnight – and bounce back more quickly.

"Unfortunately, the growth of the prostate is inevitable but men should no longer have to put up with the symptoms," continued Mr Larner. For further information about Greenlight laser surgery for prostate problems, please visit www.spiremontefiore.com or call 01273 828120

Article reproduced from 25/1/13 - www.brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk