1970-2000 The largest separate unit

From radiotherapy to medical therapy

The existing treatment methods of cancer include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery, palliative treatment and psychosocial care. Radiotherapy is divided into external – and internal radiation therapy. In the course of the decades surgical treatment has taken an approach towards more organ-saving operations. Primary surgical procedures needed by Pikonlinna’s patients were performed in the central hospital’s main location in Tampere. Each specialty was responsible for its own cancer cases, and postprimary treatments, like radiotherapy and chemotherapy, were administered in Pikonlinna.

Palliative care is an active and holistic form of patient care provided by a multiprofessional care team to terminally ill and dying people in cases when curative treatment is ineffective. In such case the goal is no longer to prolong life at any cost. The word ”palliative” means symptomatic and alleviating therapy that relieves pain. Palliative care aims at ensuring the best possible quality of life for final stages of human life.

Pikonlinna received a brachytherapy machine in the mid-nineties, which enabled the more extensive administration of brachytherapy. Internal radiotherapy or brachytherapy uses radioactive sources to kill cancer cells. This treatment method delivers unexceptionally high doses of radiation to a small area without damaging surrounding healthy tissues. This method of treatment has become more and more common especially when treating prostate cancer.

In the biological treatment of cancer, which was developed in the mid-nineties, attempts are made to eliminate cancerous cell tissues by stimulating body’s own defence system or by administrating natural animal substances that kill cancer cells or limit their growth.