ONCOLOGY UNIT IN PAPHOS
PROF. GEORGE ASTRAS UPDATES US ON THE PAPHOS ONCOLOGY UNIT
ST. GEORGE’S & BLUE CROSS HOSPITAL PAPHOS
Oncology Unit in Paphos – Last year, we were delighted to report on the plans for the opening of the new Oncology Centre at St. George’s Hospital in Paphos, under the Directorship of the leading Cypriot Oncologist, Prof. George Astras. This is the first Oncology Unit for cancer patients in Paphos and will make a massive difference to a patient’s daily life, whilst they undergo treatment.
Professor Astras is the Director of Astras Oncology Services, based in Nicosia. However, he holds his own clinic two days a week at St. George and Blue Cross Hospitals, in Paphos. He leads a multi-disciplinary team, who all work together, with their patients’ best interests always at the forefront of their minds. Professor Astras firmly believes that no patient should fight cancer alone, and his clinic motto is, “Stronger Together”. In this article, Cyprus in Style catches up with Professor Astras, to find out about the imminent opening of the new Oncology Centre in Paphos.
ABOUT PROF. GEORGE ASTRAS
Professor Astras has had a lifelong interest in cancer as a Medical Oncology Consultant. Following his initial training, he decided to specialise in Oncology in the UK. This was because his family has a predisposition to the disease, and he wanted to fully understand and make a real difference in cancer patients’ lives. As he says, “Being an oncologist is my way of fighting cancer“.
He did his Master of Science Degree in Oncology in the UK, and has participated in many Phase I, II and III oncology trials. He then spent part of his career at the world’s leading cancer hospital, The Royal Marsden Hospital in London. His specialisations include Immune-Oncology, Combination Chemotherapy, Targeted Therapies, Hormonal Manipulation and other localised treatments in the management of cancer. His particular areas of research include lung cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers and soft tissue sarcomas, but Professor Astras, and his colleagues, treat all cancers. His team is registered in GESY but also takes care of patients that are not GESY eligible.
BRINGING CHEMOTHERAPY TO PAPHOS PATIENTS
Professor Astras has worked for many years looking after his patients at St George’s Hospital in Paphos. As he explained, “In my experience, we need to make it as easy as possible for our patients. We need to bring the treatment to the patient. This means that Paphos residents can now have their treatments locally, without having to travel to Limassol or Nicosia. This is why I was so happy to be involved in the new dedicated unit in Paphos”.
NEW ONCOLOGY UNIT OPENING VERY SOON
At the new Oncology Unit in Paphos, one of their priorities, in addition to offering the latest treatments, has been to create a pleasant environment for their patients. This means that they can offer the highest levels of care, comfort and hygiene. During the current pandemic, they have not stopped treating any of their patients, as they considered it to be an essential treatment. As Professor Astras says, “Cancer, when not treated is more dangerous than COVID-19”. The new unit will open very soon but, in the meantime, they are working from their old facilities, where they are administering Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapies to their patients on the first floor of St Georges Hospital. The new Oncology Unit in Paphos will be on the second floor of St. George’s Hospital.
WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ONCOLOGY UNIT?
At the new Clinic, they will be able to provide both inpatient and outpatient care. There will be a Cancer Day Centre, where the patients will receive their treatments. At the Centre, they realise that patients’ time is valuable and that they may not be feeling well so everyday support will be provided by Professor Astras’ Team which will include inpatient and outpatient care. In addition to this, there will be a 24-hour on-call service, and a dedicated telephone line for emergency situations should patients require treatment or advice out of hours. To make life easier for all the patients, there is a car park reserved for patients attending the clinic opposite the front door, and they also offer a patient transport system with wheelchair access if required.
EXPERIENCED TEAM OF DOCTORS AND NURSES
At the moment, Professor Astras and his team are treating approximately seventy patients, on a weekly basis, prior to the official opening. Their main target is always to provide the highest level of cancer care, as they never want to compromise by taking on too many patients. Currently, the Unit can treat 20 – 30 patients a day, but if the demand should increase, they already have plans to increase the capacity in the future. All of the nurses on the Unit are trained in all aspects of chemotherapy and the Head Nurse has over twenty years’ experience in cancer care and chemotherapy administration. In addition to the leading Oncologist Professor Astras, the team has consultants in Medical Oncology, Haematology and associate specialists on cancer care.
THE LATEST TREATMENTS FOR CANCER
The unit leads the way for cancer treatment in Cyprus, by offering all available treatments, approved and matching both the European and American Cancer guidelines. They also use state of the art combination treatments for advanced cancer as well as cancer prevention.
IMMUNOTHERAPY AND TARGETED THERAPIES
Professor Astras, and his team, were the first to use Immunotherapy in Cyprus in 2016 and other targeted therapies for specific cancer types. They also provide the next-generation sequencing of tumours, which gives a much better insight into the most suitable treatment for the patient. Unfortunately, at the current time, this option is not yet available on Gesy. As Professor Astras explained, “By keeping an eye on worldwide advances in cancer, we really are at the cutting edge of the treatment and care, which is offered to our patients. This means that they are receiving the same high level of treatment as patients in mainland Europe”.
FUTURE PLANS AT THE PAPHOS ONCOLOGY UNIT
In the future, there are plans to expand the Unit further, by including a Haematology Unit and also an Interventional Oncology Unit. At the moment Professor Astras, and his team, are doing everything they can to support and treat their patients in Paphos.
ABOUT ST. GEORGE’S AND BLUE CROSS HOSPITALS IN PAPHOS
St. George’s and the Blue Cross Hospitals joined forces in 2012 to create a unique and comprehensive medical facility for the Pafos region. Their combined experiences, expertise and resources, together with their state-of-the-art medical equipment, means they can offer the highest standards of medical care in Paphos. In addition, they work with many doctors across the Island, who are leaders in their fields. This includes over eighty doctors and an additional staff of over one hundred, enabling the hospitals to become centres of medical excellence in Paphos and Cyprus.
For more information, please visit bluecross.com.cy or call 26 221 111. St. George’s & Blue Cross Private Hospitals in Paphos are recommended as one of the best hospitals in Paphos and offer excellent care to all their patients. Stay updated with all the latest news from the new Oncology Unit in Paphos
Published by Cyprus in Style Magazine August 2021 | #InStyleBusinessNetwork | Oncology Unit in Paphos
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