Local breast cancer expert receives national honor
A local breast cancer expert has won the title of "the most beautiful doctor" along with another eight national medics, national health authorities announced on Saturday, Chinese Doctor's Day.
Dr Shao Zhimin, from Shanghai Cancer Center, is the 10th doctor in Shanghai to receive the honor.
As a doctor working on the frontline for 38 years, Shao gets up at 4am each day to work on the computer, and arrives at the hospital at 6am to check patients, then perform outpatient services and surgery.
"Breast cancer treatment doesn't only treat patients' diseases but also their minds and moods, giving their strength and power to return to their normal lives," Shao said.
A young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer in another province came to Shao after hospitals in her hometown said she had lost the chance for surgery.
"Shao told me that I could receive surgery after a detailed evaluation," she said.
"The surgery was successful. In a post-surgery consultation, Shao said my treatment had ended and I can go to his clinic for consultation if planning to have children.
"I was so glad at that moment. It means I not only have recovered but also can have the chance to get married and have my own children in the future. He gave me such a great encouragement and psychological support."
Under Shao's leadership, his department has fulfilled the highest quantity of breast cancer surgeries in the nation, and its patients' five-year survival increased from 80 percent 20 years ago to the current 94 percent. This is line with developed countries and regions in the West.
With the improvement of treatment outcomes, Shao started to turn his attention to triple-negative breast cancer, the most fatal and complicated type. This type of breast cancer does not express the genes for HER2, progesterone receptors, or estrogen receptors, resulting in very limited treatment measures and a poor treatment results.
It affects 15 percent of patients, who have a much higher chance of relapse and metastasis with poor treatment outcomes than those with other types of breast cancer.
Through medical experts' efforts, the treatment outcomes of triple-negative breast cancer has increased by three times. Many patients are confident and positive after Shao explained development of treatment using simple language.
Shao is also deeply involved in breast cancer education and screening.
"I have a dream that all breast cancer patients can receive proper and effective treatment," he said.
Shao has fulfilled the nation's guideline on breast cancer diagnosis and treatment to promote a standard medical practice all over the nation. Shao was also invited to participate in the global guideline on breast cancer.
He actively participates in breast cancer prevention.
By teaming up with Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, his team fulfilled breast cancer screening on nearly 20,000 women in the city, rising the detection of early-stage breast cancer by 10 percent.
Half of patients needn't chemotherapy due to early detection, much higher than ordinary patients in outpatient clinics.