Helios Hospital Duisburg: Colorectal Cancer Center receives highest award
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Helios Hospital Duisburg: Colorectal Cancer Center receives highest award

The Colorectal Cancer Center at the Helios St. Johannes Clinic has been certified by the German Cancer Society. It certifies that the Hamborn site is of particularly high quality in the treatment of patients with colorectal tumors.

Widespread, but often curable - colorectal cancer is one of the most common tumor types in Germany, with around 70,000 new cases annually. The Certification Commission of the German Cancer Society (DKG) has therefore set itself the goal of recognizing highly specialized centers in which patients are in good hands in every respect and receive comprehensive care. This is also reflected in the survival chances of those affected: patients who are operated on in certified centers have been shown to survive longer*.

Now - despite the well-known Corona restrictions of the last two years - the colorectal cancer center at the Helios St. Johannes Clinic has been accepted into the ranks of the only 300 DKG-certified centers in Germany due to its high treatment quality. In addition to the impressive technical expertise of all internal and external cooperation partners, the certification team at the Duisburg maximum care provider was particularly struck by the proven high surgical standard: As early as 2020, the hospital was the first in the region to introduce a robotic surgical system (DaVinci™), which is now used in around 90 percent of colon and rectal cancer operations. It enables extremely precise cancer surgery and improved patient recovery.

The DKG seal of quality also requires evidence of the qualifications of the physicians involved, specially trained oncology nursing staff, compliance with the latest guidelines and implementation of modern treatment concepts, high case numbers and the close involvement of patients in the course of treatment. Also important is the strongly networked cooperation between the departments of visceral surgery, gastroenterology, radiation therapy, oncology, pathology and radiology, as well as cooperation partners such as social services, psychooncology and physiotherapy, not only within the clinic but also in the outpatient sector. As an expression of networking, all findings of affected patients are discussed in joint tumor conferences and an individual treatment concept is agreed upon. All these requirements must be fulfilled retrospectively even before the actual certification and are reviewed every year as part of audits.

Clinic Managing Director Birger Meßthaler is correspondingly proud of his team: "This award is a great confirmation of the very good interdisciplinary work we do at the clinic. And not just for a short period of time, but over a period of years." The head of the Colorectal Cancer Center, Dr. Norbert Hennes, chief physician of the Clinic for General and Visceral Surgery, Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, knows only too well what this also means during a pandemic: "We as a whole team are enormously pleased about this award, because it reflects the tireless commitment of so many people, especially during the 'corona years', which are so debilitating for all of us. Because the fact that we managed to do all this despite these unfavorable circumstances cannot be taken for granted and underpins the high medical quality." The certification also shows that people place their complete trust in the Helios St. Johannes Clinic during a difficult phase of their lives and know that they can expect comprehensive diagnostics, competent advice and therapy as well as state-of-the-art treatment procedures here.

However, this trust also extends beyond the interventions, because for many patients, on the one hand, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are an increasingly important part of treatment and, on the other hand, many return regularly to the clinic and to the outpatient cooperation partners for follow-up care, even after the disease has been overcome. The German Cancer Society recommends that all patients receive such regular check-ups for five years following initial treatment. The Helios team guides the patients through all upcoming measures. In this way, the experts can help most of those affected to heal. However, if further metastases are found, for example in the liver or lungs, the departments now also regularly offer the advantageous robotic minimally invasive technique for these patients.

Unfortunately, there are also advanced diseases with a poor prognosis. For these patients, the Colorectal Cancer Center also offers professional help and support in order to meet the wishes of the patients and their relatives in the best possible way - also beyond purely medical care.

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