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Q&A with Dr Daniela Capdepon, Oncologist

  • October 07, 2019

Introduction

What specialty, grade and hospital do you work at?

I am a Specialist in Medical Oncology and Onco-Heamatology, so I usually diagnose,

treat and provide follow-up care for patients with solid tumours as well as liquids.

I am currently appointed as the Medical Director of the Campana Oncology Center, located in the

province of Buenos Aires. The center was founded in 2008 and since then I have worked there,

providing attention to Oncology patients and monitoring them. The Oncology center

has a day hospital where patients undergo their chemotherapeutic and

immunotherapies treatments. The patients who require radiotherapy complementary

to their oncological treatment are then referred by me to the nearest Radiotherapy center

in the area for better control of the patients, as well as teamwork with the

radiotherapists.

Would you share with us your personal mission as a doctor?

I have always wanted to be a doctor since I was three years old. I remember playing doctors with my sister. She used to pretend to be my receptionist and she would invite patients into my Consulting room to see me and I would diagnose them. I always wanted to be a doctor and I became one.

The United Kingdom

At what point in your career did you decide you wanted to move to the UK?

I have wanted to relocate to the UK for quite some time now. I believe I can both continue my career and improve my professional development.

For you, what are the key benefits of living in the UK?

The UK will provide me with the excellent benefits to continue developing my specialty at a better and higher level, as well as being able to work in places of excellent research and patient care.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Why did you choose to specialise in Oncology?

After three years of practising as a doctor, I decided to specialise in Oncology because I really loved everything about it. I knew it was a hard and difficult area of medicine to specialise in because of the types of patients we deal with every single day. From that moment, I put all my energy to be able to develop in the field of Oncology, both studying and practicing in the best hospital in my country.

Why do you have an interest in Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer is the cancer with the highest occurrence in the female breast. At present, we have many treatments available to treat it, such as the new drugs for chemotherapies and immunotherapies. Both treatments are essential to control and prevent future recidivism, as well as radiotherapy as an adjunct treatment.

Are there any specific requirements to study Breast Cancer?

No, if you are an Oncologist with an interest in Breast Cancer, you simply specialise in it. Of course, you can attend courses and conferences to be able to internalise with the latest treatments.

The survival of patients is high due to the great progress of science and what doctors and medicine can offer patients.

Do you have any advice for junior doctors who want to specialise in Oncology?

It is very important for you to have a great empathy to take this specialty as it requires you to have a very good relationship with the patient, their environment and thus be able to provide the best for this illness and its quality.

I therefore urge all junior doctors to see beyond the disease and treat the patient in front of you but at the same time carry out a genuine bond of trust with them and their close family.

Do you have any advice on how to prevent Breast Cancer, if that is possible?

From working as an Oncologist, I have recognised some factors that increase the risk of suffering from Breast Cancer, such as:

  • Being over 45 years old
  • Possess a personal history of Breast Cancer or benign (non-cancerous) breast disease
  • Family history of breast cancer, hereditary breast cancer accounts for only about 5-10% of all cases
  • Radiation therapy treatment to the breast of chest
  • Treatment with hormones (Estrogen and Progesterone)
  • Menstruation at an early age
  • Advanced age at the time of your first birth or never having children
  • Overweight, sedentary lifestyle and excessive alcohol consumption

In addition, breast checks with mammography should be conducted as Breast Cancer can be detected through it when the nodule is not yet palpable or minimally. It is recommended that all women aged 50 to 70 years of age have a mammogram at least every two years with a physical examination of the breasts by a health professional.

Women aged 40 years+ should have a check with their GP, without having the mammogram.

What are the most common signs to look for if you think you have Breast Cancer?

In addition to a lump, other physical symptoms could include retraction of the nipple, changes in the texture and colour of the skin and pruritus or scaling lesions on the nipple.

If a woman has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, what is the prognosis?

The prognosis will depend on the type of cancer they have, that is Histopathology. We will also need to determine whether the cancer is found only in the breast or metastasis in some other organ. This will all depend on the treatment given to patients, their survival and their quality of life.

What treatments are available for Breast Cancer?

In this day and age, Breast Cancer can be treated in several ways but it is dependent on the type of Breast Cancer and the degree of spread. People with Breast Cancer often receive more than one type of treatment.

  1. Surgery – an operation in which doctors cut out the cancer tissue
  2. Chemotherapy – special medications are used to reduce or kill cancer cells. These medications may be pills that are taken or medications that are injected into the veins or sometimes both
  3. Hormone therapy – Prevents cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow
  4. Biological therapy – Works with your body’s immune system to help fight cancer cells or control the side effects caused by other cancer treatments. Side effects are the way your body reacts to medications or other treatments
  5. Radiation therapy – Used to kill cancer cells

Generally, doctors of different specialties work together to treat Breast Cancer. Surgeons are doctors who do operations. Oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with medication. Radiologists are doctors who treat cancer with radiation.

Do you think that one day there will be a cure for Breast Cancer?

Yes, of course. From now on, cancer is talked about as a chronic disease or in other cases it is said that the patient is free of disease when he has been without symptoms for more than five years or having had no relapse of the same cancer.

With the advancement of science and the new drugs that are developed every day to treat it, we can talk about a possible future cure.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I hope that with the great advancement of medicine in all of its fields, soon the cure can be found for many of these cancers. Today, they are treated with very good survival and also achieving a very good quality of life for patients.

As for my dreams, they are personal goals I work towards, day by day and I am very dedicated to achieving them.

If you are an international Oncologist who wants to relocate to the UK and secure an NHS post, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you on your journey to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!

 
 

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