MAJOR WIN: Cancer treatment centre opens in Bundy
TWO new cancer centres have opened at the Bundaberg Mater Hospital and St Stephen's Hospital on the Fraser Coast.
Local patients undergoing treatment at the centres will soon have access to stereotactic radiation therapy, a targeted treatment which reduces the number of times they need to receive treatment. A cardio-oncology program, rapid access to treatment for palliative care patients, expanded outreach clinics and telehealth and access to cutting-edge research and clinical trials are possible at the centres.
GenesisCare Queensland Medical Director of Radiation Oncology Dr Marie Burke said the facilities will take away some of the stress of travelling for treatment.
"We know that a cancer diagnosis can put a lot of strain on individuals and their families, and we are so pleased that we can make things that little bit easier with a warm and welcoming facility,” Dr Burke said.
Dr Burke said new advancements for patients at the centres will be introduced soon.
"For people with left-sided breast cancer - one of our most commonly seen tumour sites - we are preparing to introduce a technique called Deep Inspiration Breath Hold from August. This technique minimises radiation to the heart during treatment, to prevent heart health problems down the track,” Dr Burke said.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services Board Chair Peta Jamieson said cancer patients in the region will be able to remain close to their families during treatment.
"In the coming months, we are excited that new world-class treatments and techniques will become available locally for the first time, adding to the extensive cancer care services already available in Wide Bay,” said Ms Jamieson.
Local Bundaberg general practitioner, Drew Speight has experienced the latest treatment facilities first hand, after a recent diagnosis.
Dr Speight said he is happy with the level of care within the centre.
"I'm happy that I can get great care at a top-notch facility near home, rather than spending some seven weeks away in Brisbane,” Dr Speight said.
"Being treated in Bundy allows me to be among friends and remain engaged in my community.
"My experience so far is overwhelmingly positive, and the staff are great. They are very friendly and supportive and I know they care about me as an individual, as well.”
Over 450 cancer patients in the region have received treatment at the state of the art oncology centres since January.