Medical Tourism for Terminal Brain Cancer Patients – Leveraging evidence-based practice and technological changes has helped advance approaches to the management and treatment of various forms of conditions and diseases such as brain cancer.
It has come to your attention that an international hospital aggressively recruits brain cancer patients in your local area. Their innovative treatment is approved in their country; however is considered experimental in your own country. Many patients in the late stages of brain cancer travel to their location as a last hope for a treatment that might stop the aggressive progression of their otherwise terminal illness.
Write a persuasive letter to an editor in your local community making a case for or against seeking this international medical care. Consider as many options for domestic and international treatment as possible, including traditional local treatment options as well as holistic or experimental treatments abroad. Be sure your letter addresses both the local- and destination-country’s perspective on this issue. (1–2 pages)
Develop a half-page, culturally competent script for a phone call to reach out to the contacts of infected persons that encourages them to get tested for tuberculosis (TB). In addition, submit an appendix to your script that explains which National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Healthcare (CLAS) Standards were applied and your rationale for selecting the cultural demographic upon which your script is based.
Part II: Editorial
Letter to the editor against Medical Tourism
Subject: Medical Tourism for Terminal Brain Cancer Patients.
Leveraging evidence-based practice and technological changes has helped advance approaches to the management and treatment of various forms of conditions and diseases such as brain cancer. Due to the different regulations, resources, and capabilities, medical interventions vary from country to country, with some having more approval for treatments deemed as experimental locally.
Records from local facilities indicate that most patients in the late stages of brain cancer seek medication in other countries in a bid to curtail the rapid progression of their terminal illness. Though international hospitals have approval for a wide range of treatment, the risks of experimental treatment coupled with flying complications, additional costs, and issues of communication and follow-ups are major concerns. Besides, research and evidence based practice is improving the capabilities of local hospitals to offer better patient care.
Various risks are associated with traveling abroad for medical treatment. They include the probability of the patient developing embolisms due to long flights. The clots may be in the form of pulmonary embolism, which is caused by prolonged immobility.
Medical tourism can also disrupt the individual’s schedule since the patient may have to commute to their host countries before getting complete care. Patients are more susceptible to medical malpractices as a result of insufficient laws that govern medical practices in various destination countries.
Medical tourism has adversely affected the healthcare system and the general health and welfare of patients in both departure and destination countries.
There are numerous domestic treatment options for brain cancer patients that can counter the various risks that arise from the practice of seeking international healthcare. Surgery is typically among the options for patients who have a single area of cancer in their brains.
The removal of the tumor improves neurological symptoms and in numerous cases, improves the prognosis of the patient. After surgery, radiation therapy follows to ensure all cancer cells are destroyed. WBRT, Whole-brain radiation therapy is administered in the entire brain and doctors are careful to avert any damage on the Hippocampus.
The precaution aids in reducing the cognitive adverse effects associated with radiotherapy. Target therapy is also another available treatment domestically. This form of treatment targets the tumor’s specific proteins, genes, or the tissue environment that supports the tumor’s survival and growth, thus blocking growth and limiting the damage of the patient’s healthy cells.
Moreover, immunotherapy has also depicted hope in the treatment of brain metastases and is available locally. Also, chemotherapy is commonly used through the administering of drugs to kill tumor cells generally by preventing the growth, division, and making of more cells.
In addition to the locally available treatment methods, there are experimental and holistic treatments. Phytotherapy involves treating patients with a combination of herbal medicines. Various results show that phytotherapy has portrayed significant achievements in the treatment of brain cancer. The method is harmless and new in brain cancer treatment.
Tumor-treating fields are also on the rise, and it entails placing of a medical device called “Optune” (wearable cap liked to a battery pack in a backpack). The device has electrodes placed on the patient’s scalp and releases alternating electric fields that disrupt the growth of the tumor.
Also, clinical trials (although experimental), have increased and they help to assess the new prospective ways of treating brain cancer and serve as avenues to access the most cutting-edge recent treatments, thus improving the opportunities for the cure and increasing patient’s hope
Therefore, I request you to publish this letter in your esteemed newspaper so that it may encourage brain cancer patients to try all domestically available treatment options and avoid medical tourism and risks involved with international medical care.
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Part III: Culturally Competent Response
Phone call script
Me: Good morning, I’m (name), calling from (name of institution). What is your name?
Dolores: Good morning to you too. I am Dolores
Me: I would like to know the precautions you have in place that help care for the infected persons with TB?
Dolores: I always keep the windows open or the fan on during night times, and make sure that my son takes prescribed medicines as well as keeping all doctor’s appointments.
Me: Would you be interested in scheduling time to learn more and get tested?
Dolores: Yes, I am willing to be tested and learn more about how I can protect my household and myself from contracting TB.
Me: Great. We will send someone from our organization to help you and offer classes. Since chronic illnesses can be challenging to patients and care providers, we think you should be tested and have the necessary forms of interventions.
Dolores: Okay. Nevertheless, I have a very busy schedule. I am always at work and when am not at work, I am home helping my family. Maybe I can make an appointment during my off-hours?
Me: We are flexible on scheduling an appointment, and the visit should only take 10 minutes of your time. We can schedule to meet during your off-hours if that works for you?
Dolores: Yes my off-hours will be okay
Me: Thank you for considering getting tested.
Dolores: Thank you too. I really appreciate for reaching out to me.
Appendix – National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Healthcare (CLAS) Standards applied
The appendix contains the phone call interview script. The focus of this script is to encourage individuals that take care of TB infected people to get tested. TB is chronically communicable, airborne, and infectious and caregivers are at risk of contracting the illness. Communication and Language Assistance CLAS theme was used to help communicate effectively with the individual through the phone call.