Cancer survival rates differ from country to country: in Russia, the average is 40-50%, while in Germany doctors manage to achieve an impressive 65-90%. This rate is largely due to the control by the German Cancer Society that monitors medical standards and makes sure progressive diagnostic techniques and therapeutic innovations are implemented. The organisation brings together more than 7000 oncologists and experts actively working in the field, i.e. treating patients and conducting clinical research.
The society's main goals are to develop scientifically proven recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various malignant tumours and to improve the quality of medical care through the certification of specialised institutions. Oncology centres opened on the premises of existing medical institutions treat not only local patients but also visitors from abroad. For example, inter-disciplinary cancer centre at the Ludwig-Maximilian University Hospital
, the Oskar Helene-Heim Cancer Centre (part of the Helios Emile von Bering complex
) and the only intestinal cancer centre in Europe at the Clinic Munich Neuperlach
, are very popular.
These highly specialised facilities offer a full range of services, from comprehensive diagnostics to chemo- and radiation therapy. Oncologists study biological processes occurring in a tumour and the defence reactions of a patient's immune system. Based on this data, a personalised treatment programme is developed, usually combining several methods: traditional (surgery, chemo- and radiotherapy) and innovative (targeted therapy, immunotherapy, targeted chemotherapy). This approach allows elimination of malignant cells on a locally, without damaging neighbouring healthy tissue.
Doctors apply the least invasive surgical techniques that leave little to no scarring on the skin or mucous membranes. Such gentle methods reduce the risk of unnecessary complications and shorten the recovery period.
The most common disease that brings patients to Germany is breast cancer. Every year, more than one million new cases are diagnosed worldwide. Thanks to advances of German medicine, 88% of women with this diagnosis live past the 5-year post-operation period. Around 255 clinics and hospital departments specialising in this problem are currently certified by the German Cancer Society and the German Society of Senology. One of the best known institutions to have received both certificates is the Helios Berlin Buch Clinic
and the Charité University Medical Centre
. They have at their disposal the latest technologies such as Cyberknife Radiation Therapy and TrueBeam.