This week, GenesisCare Victoria opened its new radiation oncology treatment centre at Cabrini Malvern with a busy start.
The new service provides both inpatients and outpatients with access to fully integrated, comprehensive cancer care onsite at the hospital. It has increased convenience and comfort for patients, who no longer need to leave Cabrini to receive radiation therapy, and can have all of their cancer treatment in the one, familiar place.
Patient Di Lopez of St Kilda East was one of the first to visit the new GenesisCare centre and receive treatment for her breast cancer. A key benefit is that she is able to return to Cabrini to have this part of her cancer treatment rather than travelling elsewhere. She was most impressed with the centre, commenting that the atmosphere is light and airy.
During her treatment, Ms Lopez used the ‘deep inspiration breath hold’ (DIBH) technique: a new technique for patients who have left-sided breast cancer. When she inhaled, the air in her lungs pushed her heart away from her chest wall, thereby minimising radiation exposure to her heart. She wore goggles that enable her to monitor her breathing pattern, so that she knows when to take a deep breath, hold the breath and then release it.
The new temporary facility was built within five months – twice as quickly as the usual 12 months – and the service will be a permanent feature of Cabrini Malvern’s new Gandel Wing currently under construction on Wattletree Road at the corner of Isabella Street.
GenesisCare radiation oncologists include Dr David Blakey, Dr Mario Guerrieri, Dr Ian Porter and Dr Karen Taylor.
According to GenesisCare, patients will begin their treatment rapidly, have access to world-class innovative techniques and receive care from highly experienced and respected doctors. Treatment plans are personalised for every patient to provide the best possible outcome.
Radiation therapy is one of the best-established, most effective and well tolerated therapies for treating almost all cancers, extending lives and reducing pain.
Radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy), uses high energy X-ray beams, called photon beams or electron beams, to treat cancer. Another term is external beam radiation therapy or EBRT) because the beams are administered from outside the body. The machines that make and deliver the radiation are called linear accelerators.
Radiation therapy may be administered by inserting a radioactive source into your body, usually on or near the site of the cancer. This is called brachytherapy. Sometimes, EBRT and brachytherapy are used together. The radiation oncologist advises the patient about which form of treatment is most appropriate for their condition.
Cancerous cells are more susceptible to radiation than healthy, non-cancerous cells. This is because of their abnormal and unstable nature. Healthy, non-cancerous cells are much better at recovering from exposure to radiation. They will normally repair themselves, however cancerous cells cannot recover.
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