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“Treating a brain tumor is delicate business”

The Erasmus MC Cancer Institute has launched an online campaign ‘Inside the head of the specialist’, a series of interviews in which specialists talk about a topic that is less known by the public: a rare form of cancer, experimental research, the toll of the work of a medical specialist. This interview features Erasmus MC's Clemens Dirven, neurosurgeon.

Clemens Dirven“One of the best moments is when you first see the brain, pulsating away peacefully”, says neurosurgeon Clemens Dirven. “It is very serene, very beautiful. It is always disturbing when we have to cut through the brain tissue to remove a tumor. Having to damage the brain is a terrible thing.”

Treating a tumor in the brain is very delicate business, says Dirven. “Because a small amount of damage can lead to huge consequences, such as disorders, loss of function, paralysis, not being able to speak. So on one hand you need to be a surgeon who isn’t afraid to go for it, but you should also be a bit of a philosopher and a contemplator who knows when to stop, when to say ‘no more’.”

See the interview with English subtitles.

Date published: 12 December 2018.

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