Dr. Damien Urban, Director of the Oncology Department at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel has developed a cutting-edge “Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit”, which is enabling patients to cut through stifling medical bureaucracy and receive the results of their oncological tests within weeks–a technique that is virtually unheard of in the Western world.
Based on the current medical bureaucracy, the arduous process of determining whether a person has cancer, which highlights blood tests, biopsies, MRI’s and CT-scans could take up to a minimum of three months. Thus, if a person has a cancerous growth in their body, the race against time becomes a critical factor.
Recognizing the need to drastically streamline the process in order to get a diagnostic response and a treatment regimen in place in a quick and efficient manner, Dr. Urban, along with members of the Oncology Department staff at Sheba Medical Center decided to launch the new unit.
“The mental trauma of a patient waiting for results over a three month period can also have a devastating effect. It literally freezes people in their daily lives, so we are trying to overcome this process with the creation of the Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit,” explained Dr. Urban.
“Diagnostic Oncology is a totally new form of medicine that is being developed and will be the future of medicine in general. I created this unit, which is unique to Israel and has yet to be developed in most Western countries. I have seen specific Rapid Breast & Lung Cancer operations, but nothing regarding across the board cancer testing. With my new unit, I can cut the process from 3 months to 2 weeks! The patients are referred straight from their regular (HMO) doctor to Sheba and we do all of the testing, using the most advanced technologies in the hospital.”
Dr. Urban, who made Aliyah from Australia in 2005, was spurred to formulate an advanced diagnostic unit based on the grueling cancer testing process he had seen, while tending to cancer patients Down Under and in Israel.
“The Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit’s ultimate goal is to help patients overcome the devastating, time consuming bureaucratic process involved in the diagnostics and treatment of cancer. Though we are only at the initial stages of this project, where we are seeing about 4 patients a day, we are working to develop this to the point, where we could handle as many patients who need our services during the week,” said Dr. Urban. “This unit will eventually have the ability to save hospital admissions or days spent in the hospital based on the diagnosis. It will also enable patients who are diagnosed with cancer to see an oncologist more quickly so they can get the treatment they need, which also has a positive psychological effect.”
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