Lung cancer: “Physical activity” rhymes with “well-being” at Saint-Joseph hospital in Marseille

Lung cancer: “Physical activity” rhymes with “well-being” at Saint-Joseph hospital in Marseille
Lung cancer: “Physical activity” rhymes with “well-being” at Saint-Joseph hospital in Marseille

9 a.m., in the pulmonary surgery department of Saint-Joseph hospital in Marseille. The doctors, in the middle of their rounds, come across the nursing staff. A calm morning. Ordinary. In the corridor, a gentleman accompanied by his wife walks slowly, just to stretch his legs. A few meters away, in a room converted into a gym, Nancy, 44, pedals her bike.

She had lung surgery two days ago. A cancer diagnosed withunexpected way“while she was having a follow-up scan”for a chronic pathology“from which she suffers. A month after the examination, she was already in the operating room to have one removed”lung segment“.

If today, Nancy recovers “gently“and feels”GOOD“, is that she integrated the improved rehabilitation system, specially created in the thoracic surgery department.

Support begins before the operation, indicates Doctor Ilies Bouabdallah, head of the thoracic surgery department of the establishment. Patients come to the hospital for a day with a specific program. They meet a sports coach, a dietician, a psychologist, a tobacco specialist in order to arrive in the best conditions at the operating room. After the procedure, they are encouraged to walk.

From the moment you get out of bed, the practice of sport becomes part of the hospital landscape. For this, a suitable route has been set up in the service. It is materialized by signs indicating the number of meters traveled and signs installed throughout the corridors. These supports offer exercises to work different parts of the body but above all the breathing. For those who wish, in coordination with the service physiotherapist, they can practice an activity in the gym where the treadmill rubs shoulders with basketball hoops and other punching bags. “We are not looking for performance but well-being, continues the surgeon. We can even offer them a break in the relaxation chair, to take a sophrology course or to wear a virtual reality mask allowing them to escape.

Shorter length of stay

If the hospital has become a reference for many national and international doctors to test the course imagined by Ilies Bouabdallah, the latter mainly highlights the reduction in the length of stay. “From seven days, it went to three days.“The other added value is that patients very quickly regain normal breathing and independence.”The hospital is a dangerous zone for patients, the sooner they are home, the better off they are.

Nancy can’t wait to go out. The good news is that she may not need chemotherapy. “This is the whole point of personalized screening that we are asking for. It makes it possible to diagnose lung cancer at an early stage, treat it only with surgery and return patients to real life“, concludes Dr Bouabdallah.

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