Amaral Carvalho Hospital (Hospital Amaral Carvalho) was opened in December 25, 1915 and started its activities in 1939 as a maternity hospital. In 1966 the hospital became a cancer centre and nowadays is a reference for the treatment of oncological patients for eight million inhabitants countrywide. Cancer prevention, early diagnosis, multidisciplinary oncological treatment, bone marrow transplantation, rehabilitation and palliative care are the most significant areas approached by the hospital and they have turned the hospital into a widely recognized centre.
The centre provides full assistance to cancer patients, starting from cancer prevention to palliative support and rehabilitation. Diagnosis facilities include Pathology, Clinical Laboratory, Radiology and high complexity laboratories, such as flow cytometry, molecular biology and HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) typing.
There are 11 wards which are separated according to patients’ needs: Bone Marrow Transplantation, Paediatric Oncology, Clinical Oncology, immunosuppressed, Pain Control and Palliative Care, Thoracic-abdominal Surgery, Urology, Women Assistance, Head and Neck, Intensive Care Unit and Private Clinics. There are 350 beds available exclusively for cancer patients, most of them shared (two or three patients by room).
The outpatient activities are also available for all the oncological specialities, including Radiotherapy. The medical staff is composed by 117 physicians. The centre has also a Clinical Research Centre which is focused on cancer research, and a blood bank which is a reference in the area.
The centre has all specialities related to cancer approach. Surgical areas include: Urology, Gastrointestinal, Thoracic, Mastology, Neurology, Head and Neck, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Skin and Soft Tissues, Anaesthesiology.
Clinical areas include: Clinical Oncology, Haematology, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Paediatric Oncology, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Prevention Programme and Palliative Care.
Palliative and supportive care
The Pain Control and Palliative Care Unit (PCU) was founded in September 2008 and has been providing assistance on an in-out patient basis. There are eight beds for patients in advanced stages of cancer with acute symptoms, social disabilities or in terminal phase. The outpatients can be attended at the PCU three times a week. About a hundred patients per month are seen at the outpatient clinic. Physical, social, spiritual and psychological support is provided to all patients and their families. There is also a home care programme when needed. The PCU team relies on two physicians (which are also clinical oncologists), three advanced nurses, fifteen assistant nurses, one psychologist, one social worker, one pharmacist, one nutritionist, two physiotherapists and one occupational therapist.