Dr. Mohamed Saad El Ashry, a prominent specialist in breast and colorectal cancer, is known for his holistic approach to the treatment of his patients, providing them with both psychological and cosmetic care in addition to their medical treatment. eniGma’s Iman Nayel sat down with the oncology expert to learn more about his unique, multi-layered treatment approach and the different methods of cancer therapy offered at his clinic.
A leading figure in his field, Dr. El Ashry established his Hope Cure Oncology Center in 2019. Dr. El Ashry believes that becoming an oncology specialist was his destiny. It all started in high school, when he had a dream in which he saw himself as one of the best oncologists in Egypt and was treating a very dear family member. “Unfortunately, during my first year in medical school at university this relative was indeed diagnosed with cancer and eventually passed away as a result of the illness,” says Dr. El Ashry. Determined to realise his destiny, he went on to specialise in oncology and eventually earned a doctorate degree in his specialisation.
“Oncology is a field that many people steer away from because of the heavy emotional burden involved in such potentially terminal illnesses,” says Dr. El Ashry. “For many, the word cancer is synonymous with death, but this is not the case anymore. There are various new technologies and treatments that save peoples’ lives, so there is a lot more hope for recovery,” he explains.
“It is not possible to point at a specific cause of cancer, but there are definitely things that increase the risk, like obesity, smoking, and even psychological attributes like severe stress. I always advise people to eat healthy, natural food and avoid things like dairy, sugar, and red meat,” Dr. El Ashry explains. He adds that there is a misconception that cancer rates have increased in Egypt. “It is rather the methods of detection and diagnosis that have increased,” he explains.
Dr. El Ashry’s team keeps up to date with the new methods of diagnosis and treatment. “Now there is 4-Dimensional radiotherapy treatment that tackles the tumour itself without harming the patient. This year, another new method of treating cancer through the immune system was discovered. We strengthen the immune system so that it can fight the cancer internally. This is a remarkable breakthrough in oncology,” says Dr. El Ashry. “But the most important thing about cancer treatment is early diagnosis. This helps promote more efficient healing for the patient,” he adds.
The center has different teams that specialise in each method of treatment offered, namely chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy. “To ensure the maintenance of the emotional well-being of the patient, we also have specialists who tend to the patient’s emotional and psychological state throughout their treatment. We also have a cosmetology team that tends to the patient’s physical appearance, from hair loss to micro-tattoos and even Botox,” Dr. El Ashry explains. The Hope Cure Oncology team also continually follows up with patients even at home. In addition, a 24/7 Hope Cure hotline is available to all patients. Support for patients does not stop there, however. Dr. El Ashry also seeks donations to alleviate the financial cost of treatment for his patients. “The budget for treatment is so high nowadays, so we try to help the patient in any way we can,” he says.
At Hope Cure, everything revolves around the patient. Tending to patients’ needs is at the core of the clinic’s philosophy, both in terms of treatment and morale. “We try to shift the patient’s perspective toward the illness in order to effectively help the treatment process,” says Dr. El Ashry. In the case of women patients, maintaining their beauty and femininity is one of the main aspects of treatment at Hope Cure Oncology Center. “When you protect the patient’s beauty, this has significant effects on her psychological and emotional state, which in turn gives her more strength to fight the illness” says Dr. El Ashry.
Not surprisingly, the priority accorded to the patient’s overall well-being is also reflected in the architectural and interior design of Dr. El Ashry’s clinic. “We have an all-white, futuristic and simple theme that makes you feel you have walked into something like an igloo, surrounded by ice,” says Dr. El Ashry, as he describes the atmosphere in the clinic. “Although this may be surprising, the icy cold atmosphere combined with the warmth and constant attention of our team makes for a very comfortable, homey environment for the patient, and that is what we strive for,” he adds.