What are Tumour Board Evaluation and its significance in Cancer Treatment?
Cancer diagnosis is very difficult to accept by the patient and the family, leading to need for 2nd and 3rd opinions Family Physicians / Family members/ Friends based on their awareness, refer then for second / third opinions to surgeons / Physicians who may / may not be cancer experts. If the surgeon recommends surgery and physician recommends chemotherapy patients are confused further.
To avoid this confusion, Dharamshila Hospital Board, consisting of Medical Oncologists,, Surgical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Gynae Oncologists, Onco pathologists, Radiologists, Imaging experts and other Allied Specialist. Members of the Tumour Board meet every day to evaluate all the new patients whose treatment has to be planned.
After reviewing the general condition of the patient, organ involved, type of cancer, its stage modality of treatment required for best treatment outcome, a custom made collective treatment plan as per National / International guidelines is charted out and documented in the patient evaluation sheet, which is signed by all concerned
This ensures collective wisdom and experience of at least 8–10 cancer experts has been taken to prescribe the most suited modality of treatment for that particular patient. Patient pays one fee and gets most authentic treatment plan, which no one can challenge.
Most cancer hospital evaluates only difficult cases in the Tumour Board once in a week. Sometimes the treating consultant can mislead the patient and instead of ideal treatment protocol of doing Radiation, can do surgery when it is not even indicated. Daily Tumour Board evaluation of each and every patient, before starting the treatment rules out wrong decisions and unethical practical.
If the outcome of the treatment is same with Radiation as well as surgery, patient is counselled about the cost, of both procedures, duration of treatment, need for hospitalization etc. and is given the choice of choosing the best suited modality of treatment. This has the dual advantage. Some patients are scared about surgery and if choice is surgery only may refuse treatment leading to progress of the disease. This group of patients definitely opts for Radiation and starts treatment. There are other patients who would rather have surgery and be back in office within 8-10 days instead of going for Radiation for 6 weeks and disturbing their normal routine for six weeks.
In other word patients get collective opinion of best cancer experts, tailor made treatment plan as per National / International guidelines and the right to choose a modality of treatment which suits him the most. He get well in the shortest duration without wasting time, money and energy required for hopping from one doctor / hospital to other doctor /hospital.