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Patient’s story: Breast cancer care at Docrates Cancer Center

In late 2016, Heli Auranen was on holiday with her husband when she became concerned about a lump in her breast.

“For breast cancer patients, Docrates is the best place in the world!”

In late 2016, Heli Auranen was on holiday in Florida with her husband when she became concerned about a lump in her breast. According to her, she had never really self-examined before and could not even feel the lump when standing up. There was no family history of breast cancer either.

However, a magazine article about breast cancer made her stop in her tracks. As soon as she had finished reading it, she decided to make an appointment with a local doctor. “Yes, it’s cancer,” came the forthright diagnosis. Heli says she immediately took the first flight home to Finland and was referred for further investigations in a couple of weeks’ time.

Having discussed it, however, Heli and her husband decided that they did not want to wait. They wanted the lump to be dealt with immediately. To get things moving, Heli booked an appointment for a mammography with UltraRöntgen. This confirmed the diagnosis.

Breast cancer surgery

Heli decided that she wanted the surgery to go ahead straightaway. She also knew that she wanted the operation to be carried out by Jari Viinikainen at Docrates, as she had heard such good things about him. Happily, an appointment for surgery was available within just a few days. Before the operation, Heli underwent blood tests, an MRI scan of her breasts and a radio-isotope scan, to look at her sentinel lymph nodes. The imaging techniques are used to give the surgeon all the information they need to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Finally, Heli had a pre-operative ECG, standard procedure for all surgical patients over the age of 50. The operation itself was quick and, happily, the lymph nodes were clear, meaning that the cancer had not spread.

After the operation, Heli felt relief.

– The cancer was like a poison capsule inside me, she says.

– But I now feel great.

Chemotherapy is not always necessary following surgery. As Heli’s tumour was relatively small and had not yet spread, after the operation the decision was made to pursue 15 sessions of radiotherapy and a hormone therapy that will go on for five years.

World-class technology and staff

Overall, Heli is extremely pleased with the care she has received at Docrates.

– I don’t think I could have had anything better anywhere in the world! At Docrates, the staff and technology are world-class. Everything happens on time, as planned, no one is checking their watch and there are no phones constantly ringing in the background. I would like to send my warmest regards to all the staff, Heli says.

– At Docrates, it’s almost like you’re not in hospital at all. I would particularly like to thank Helena, my counselling nurse and my surgeon, Jari Viinikainen. He is incredibly talented.

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Why come to Docrates Cancer Center?

  • Top cancer experts and effective treatments without delay.
  • Individual care. You have your own care team - your doctor and your nurse.
  • Front line cancer treatment. Latest medical technology combined with proven expertise in cancer care.
  • Experience in treating international patients from over 60 countries. Multilingual personnel.
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