For 15 years, Solingen Tumor Center has been providing advice to patients, relatives and interested persons.
Cancer is a common disease. However, to date, there are many ways to fight it.
Imagine a cinema or a lively shopping center for a moment, if you prefer different atmosphere – think about the holiday with family and friends. Look on the faces – almost every second one will develop cancer throughout his life. One in four will die from this disease. We are informed about this by the data of the Federal Statistical Office and the Robert Koch Institute.
26 percent of deaths in the Federal Republic of Germany are caused by cancer. At the same time, tumor diseases are on the second place after diseases of the cardiovascular system. Studies of the causes of cancer are difficult. According to the US health organization EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), 35 percent of cancer deaths are caused by malnutrition, 30 percent by tobacco use and 10 percent by infections. Depending on the disease, the chances of survival are between 50 and 60 percent.
Behind the figures, there are people with their own history of life and anamnesis. “Often people have an incredible fate,” says Dr. Elke Schekenbach. Since 2003, she has been working at the Center for the Fight against Cancer in Solingen. After graduation in 1963, a specialist in internal medicine worked in various clinics; retired in 2003, managing her own private practice. “I was a doctor, I am a doctor and I will remain a doctor,” Ms. Schekenbach describes her credo. This means that she wants to continue using her knowledge and skills.
The Center for the Fight against Cancer, Solingen, which has been working for 15 years, has about 90 members. 15 volunteers work as consultants; they meet on a monthly basis at meetings. Without involvement of volunteers, the tasks facing the Center were almost impossible to overpower. Therefore, people who are interested in carrying out such an important mission are welcome here. It is also possible to conduct consultations in the offices of the Clinics of Solingen and Bethany (Bethanyen).
Particularly important is that both these hospitals closely cooperate among themselves at the level of government. For example, Prof. Dr. Boris Pfaffenbach (Clinic) and Prof. Dr. Winfried Randerat (Bethany) are members of the board. Due to the large number of medical specialists of different specializations among employees, the Company has a wide range of professional competencies, which is displayed with regular conduct of lectures.
The consulting office in the Clinic and in Bethany, in carrying out various information events in 2015, served more than 500 people. The help is intended for patients, relatives and interested persons. “Our task is to console and point the way,” the medic explains. “At the same time, I see my task as a guide, which helps to move forward and can point out important points.” We can discuss diagnostics and treatment, but we can also talk about practical things such as questions of medical care, help with households, patronage, in the design of powers of attorney, in the organization of housing in accordance with the disease and in counseling - up to the possibilities of state aid”.
The Center establishes the necessary contacts: starting from social services and self-help groups up to the palliative hospice. The Center cooperates with these organizations in the same way as with the health insurance fund or the executive organization of psychosocial care. Elke Schekenbach: “It is especially important for us that every seriously ill patient has the right to receive an alternative opinion.”