IOSI's Medical Oncology Service is offered at four outpatient clinics in the main EOC hospitals (Bellinzona, Lugano, Mendrisio, Locarno) and at the inpatient ward in Bellinzona (31 beds). We have a dedicated staff of around 30 doctors, 80 nurses and 15 secretaries. Our doctors have had training in internal medicine and general oncology; often further specialising in specific types of cancer.
Our medical oncologists play a central role during a patient's path from diagnosis to recovery or end of life. They collaborate closely with family doctors and other IOSI and EOC specialists, guiding all the aspects of treatment. Under their remit is diagnosing and verifying the stage of the disease, preparing the therapeutic program, administering anticancer drugs (preventive, curative and palliative), assessing risk for frail patients and offering support and advice to the patient and family both during and after treatment with programs of nutrition, rehabilitation and psychological support.
Gertiatric Oncology at our Instiute
With the progressive aging of the population, we are increasingly confronted with tumours arising in patients over 70 years of age. In Ticino, this accounts for around 500 new cases every year. However, the protocols that have led to the approval of cancer treatments have often excluded this category of patients. Doctors and nurses in the IOSI clinics are sensitised to this issue, and are experts in carrying out a multi-dimensional evaluation, in order to offer this group of patients the specialised care they need.
Nurses in our outpatient clinics screen the patient first, and if they deem it appropriate, they give the patient an in-depth examination. Using our multidimensional geriatric evaluation form, doctors and nurses collect clinical information, comorbidities, functional status, cognitive, affective, nutritional and motor status, as well as the social context.
This provides a full understanding of what characteristics need to be considered when considering treatment options. Thereby, we can offer the most appropriate oncological treatment and a holistic multidisciplinary approach that helps both the patient and his family.
There is an active collaboration with fellow geriatricians and with the Ticino Cancer League, who support this project.
Nutrition as an integral part of care
Since 2016 we have a Nutritional Counselling Service, which is offered to all our patients. This provides a companion to our cancer therapies by developing a personalised nutrition plan, with the aim of reducing the side effects of treatments and improve the recovery in the medium to long term.