NEW CENTRE: Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board chair Peta Jamieson, Genesis Centre leader Daniel McNamara and former cancer patient Sonya Chapman.
NEW CENTRE: Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board chair Peta Jamieson, Genesis Centre leader Daniel McNamara and former cancer patient Sonya Chapman. Inge Hansen

Cancer care now close to home

WHEN Sonya Chapman was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she would pack her caravan and travel to Bundaberg where she would camp between radiation treatments.

Of the 20 radiation sessions she required, 15 were out of town.

However, during her last five sessions she was able to stay at home in Hervey Bay after the new oncology centre at St Stephen's Hospital opened and she could be treated close to home.

"Not having to travel backwards and forwards and being separated from my family is great,” she said. "It's really a wonderful service.”

A centre was also opened at the Mater Hospital in Bundaberg.

The centres are operated by GenesisCare, the largest provider of cancer care and heart care in Australia, Spain and the UK and enables patients to benefit from the network's access to international insights, research and best practice.

For Ms Chapman, who was diagnosed with stage 1 grade 1 breast cancer in September last year, the news was life changing.

"I had a routine mammogram and went to the breast screen clinic because I was called in and within a month I was diagnosed,” she said.

"I went to Brisbane for surgery on October 31.”

In January, she started travelling to Bundaberg for treatment where she would camp on the beach instead of driving back and forth between treatments. On February 14, she had her final treatment.

Medical director of GenesisCare Oncology Queensland, Dr Marie Burke, said since the first patient visits in January more than 450 patients had been treated.

"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 new facility,” she said.

"We also know that what matters most is doing everything we can to help patients get the best possible life outcomes and it is a privilege to provide an update on new advancements we'll be introducing soon.”

Ms Chapman said it was a welcome addition to the community and allowed cancer patients to have a sense of normalcy during the drastic change of lifestyle. In the meantime, she stressed the importance of regular mammograms because "early detection is the best treatment you can get”.

A number of new treatments will be introduced at the hospital later this year including Deep Breath Hold from August and Stereotactic radiation therapy.

Once introduced, DIBH and stereotactic treatments will be available locally for the first time, reducing the need for patients from the Wide Bay to travel outside the community to access care.

WHEN Sonya Chapman was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she would pack her caravan and travel to Bundaberg where she would camp between radiation treatments.

Of the 20 radiation sessions she required, 15 were in Bundaberg.

However, during her last five sessions she was able to stay at home in Hervey Bay after the new oncology centre at St Stephen's Hospital opened and she was able to be treated close to home.

"Not having to travel backwards and forwards and being separated from my family is great,” she said. "It's really a wonderful service.”

A centre was also opened at the Mater Hospital in Bundaberg.

The centres are operated by GenesisCare, the largest provider of cancer care and heart care in Australia, Spain and the UK and enables patients to benefit from the network's access to international insights, research and best practice.

For Ms Chapman, who was diagnosed with stage 1 grade 1 breast cancer in September last year, the news was life changing.

"I had a routine mammogram and went to the breast screen clinic because I was called in and within a month I was diagnosed,” she said.

"I went to Brisbane for surgery on October 31.”

In January, she started travelling to Bundaberg for treatment where she would camp on the beach instead of driving back and forth between treatments. On February 14, she had her final treatment.

Medical director of GenesisCare Oncology Queensland, Dr Marie Burke, said since the first patient visits in January more than 450 patients had been treated.

"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 new facility,” she said.

"We also know that what matters most is doing everything we can to help patients get the best possible life outcomes and it is a privilege to provide an update on new advancements we'll be introducing soon.”

Ms Chapman said it was a welcome addition to the community and allowed cancer patients to have a sense of normalcy during the drastic change of lifestyle. In the meantime, she stressed the importance of regular mammograms because "early detection is the best treatment you can get”.

A number of new treatments will be introduced at the hospital later this year including Deep Breath Hold from August and Stereotactic radiation therapy.

Once introduced, DIBH and stereotactic treatments will be available locally for the first time, reducing the need for patients from the Wide Bay to travel outside the community to access care.



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