Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC) zeroes in on brain and spine tumors in its latest webicon entitled, “It Takes A Village to Save A Life: A Webicon on the Multidisciplinary Approach to Brain and Spine Tumor Management.” The webicon was held on February 24 via ZOOM and Facebook livestreaming.
Together with its top medical experts from the Brain and Spine Institute, CSMC debunked common myths about brain and spine tumors and discussed the different types of treatments and ways to provide the best, most holistic care to a patient. The webicon was moderated by Dr. Michael Louis Gimenez, Chair of the Brain and Spine Institute, and the specialists invited to speak were Dr. Theodor Vesagas, Clinical Director of the Philippine Gamma Knife Center and CSMC Brain and Spine Tumor Center; Dr. Gilbert Rañoa, Training Officer of the CSMC Spine Fellowship Program; and Dr. Ma. Luisa Abesamis-Tiambeng, Chair of the Cancer Institute.
Dr. Gimenez opened the webicon by touching on the different signs and symptoms of brain or spine tumors. Meanwhile, Dr. Vesagas explained the benefits of CSMC’s multidisciplinary approach to treating tumors. He noted that a team effort in diagnosis and treatment allows patients to receive consistent and timely care, and increases patient satisfaction.
Dr. Vesagas also talked about Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, a procedure that is only currently available at CSMC. The goal of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is to control or stop the growth of the tumor, and allows for excellent control in the removal of tumors with minimal morbidity.
Dr. Rañoa then elaborated on other innovative open surgery treatment options that CSMC offers, such as Stereotactic Biopsy, where neurosurgeons use a needle to obtain tissue from the brain, as well as Awake Craniotomy, which can only be done if an intraoperative neurostimulator is available, and is used to remove tumors in more critical parts of the brain.
Finally, Dr. Tiambeng spoke about non-surgical tumor management, and wrapped up the team’s discussion with some reminders and practical tips to follow for when one schedules a checkup for possible tumors.
Mr. Rodel Perez, a 45-year-old OFW based in Dubai and one of CSMC’s patients, was also present as a speaker. Perez recounted his experience after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, which was about the size of a medium-sized lemon. He noted CSMC’s world-class methods and facilities, praising the compassionate care and sincerity the doctors and nurses of CSMC had towards him during his treatment.
The webicon was concluded with the standard Q&A session with all the panelists, where Dr. Tiambeng stamped out the misconception that these treatments are available only to those who are well-off.
“The Philippine Alliance for Brain and Spine Tumors [is a] foundation [that] is helping and has helped hundreds of patients get free treatments,” she said. “There is also Cardinal Charities Foundations, which helps indigent patients get big discounts or even free procedures.”
When asked how they could encourage Filipinos to seek medical advice over checking their symptoms on the internet, Dr. Tiambeng said, “The internet cannot treat you—Google cannot treat you— it can only give you information.” Despite being a powerful tool in gathering information, a specialist’s intervention is still essential in treating any illness.
“Always remember that here at Cardinal Santos Medical Center, you have a village of medical experts working hand in hand to save lives,” Dr. Gimenez concluded.
For more information about the Brain and Spine Institute, as well as other services that CSMC offers, please visit https://cardinalsantos.com.ph/. CSMC is also on Facebook, like and follow them at www.facebook.com/CardinalSantos.