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Israel at the Cutting Edge of Cancer Treatment

Israeli hospitals are on the cutting edge of providing treatment for cancer, according to the chief of Oncology at Rambam Medical Center.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 2/13/2011, 5:40 PM / Last Update: 2/13/2011, 8:12 PM

Flash 90

Israeli hospitals are on the cutting edge of providing treatment for cancer, according to the chief of the Department of Oncology at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

Professor Avraham Katan said that Israeli hospitals have the capacity to offer cancer sufferers the leading treatment in the world supplied by a highly trained and skilled medical staff.

 Israel is on the verge of a new medical era that focuses on genetic and molecular treatment, he said.

One state-of-the-art prostate cancer treatment brought to Israel this year was the "SMART Surgery" robotic prostatectomy by Dr. David Samadi. The Vice Chair of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York developed the procedure, which he introduced in Israel at Rambam Medical Center.

The disease is diagnosed in 15 percent of all men, according to statistics released by the American Cancer Society, which said that 1 in 35 die from the cancer.

However, when caught early, prostate cancer has a 95 percent five-year survival rate. New technologies such as the robotic prostate removal surgery are used to provide survivors with a better quality of life.

Robotic prostatectomy is considered the least invasive technique for prostate cancer, Samadi explained.

The surgeon has also collaborated closely with Dr. Jack Baniel of Rabin Medical Center and Dr. Jacob Ramon of Tel HaShomer Medical Center in mentoring Israeli doctors in the SMART Surgery technique.

Most hospitals in Israel include a Department of Oncology, but there are several that actually specialize in the treatment of cancer. These include both public and private hospitals, located primarily in the central region of the country.

The Israel Cancer Association (ICA), founded in 1952, promotes research, prevention and early detection of the disease. The organization funds professional posts in oncology medical centers and in the community, and provides professional training for multidisciplinary staff and professional support for patients as well.