Dr. Hayden Christie - oncologist.
Dr. Hayden Christie - oncologist. Alistair Brightman

Fraser Coast finally gets permanent medical oncologist

THE Fraser Coast has finally got a permanent medical oncologist.

Dr Hayden Christie moved to the region last year to take on the role of staff medical oncologist at Hervey Bay Cancer Care Centre.

He has been invited as guest speaker at the Maryborough Prostate Cancer Support Group's Cancer Information Evening on December 4.

Event organiser Leoll Barron said everyone was welcome and the topic was not just prostate cancer but all cancers.

Leoll met Dr Christie at a prostate cancer golf day where he introduced himself during the presentation.

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"My purpose of inviting Dr Christie to the event was to ask what is new in the detection and treatment of all cancers," Mr Barron said.

"I really want him to answer what is on offer in Hervey Bay. Maryborough is only 30 minutes away and we have access to some of the state-of-the-art treatments and equipment.

"I am encouraging people to come along and find out what is on offer in Hervey Bay and the future treatments.

"I think we need to promote that we have top-class treatment at our back door."

Dr Christie agreed with the region having access to the best. "We can do most things now in the Wide Bay, Fraser Coast, so there is very little that you would have to go to Brisbane for - there is the odd extreme case, but 95 per cent of the time it can be done here," he said.

"With the radiation which is a big part of the prostate cancer as well, the company here has got the latest equipment."

Dr Christie (B Biomed SC, MBBS, FRACP) graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Medicine in 2007, following an earlier degree in biomedical science.

He spent more than five years as a physician on the Gold Coast, where he began his training in medical oncology.

"As part of my training I worked at the Royal Brisbane Hospital for 12months and as part of that would fly up to Bundaberg and do an outreach clinic once a month with a cancer specialist that was supervising my training at the time," Dr Christie said.

"At that time Hervey Bay had no permanent oncologist, there was just a locum run."

The 38-year-old actually completed a chef's apprenticeship but went back to study medicine.

"Oncology was always what I enjoyed the most - it intrigued me," he said.

"I love genetics, which is a big part of oncology."

Dr Christie found moving to the Fraser Coast was a good opportunity for work and to be closer to family - his wife grew up in Bauple.

"It is a great lifestyle here, can't complain - beach life and schools are good and good reputation," he said.

"Since being here patients have told me every time they came for an appointment every couple of weeks they would see a new doctor each time they came and the continuity wasn't there.

"Now that there is a regular person things are going a lot better for the patient, making it much more comfortable.

"Being able to do things here other than having to jump in the car and drive four hours to have an appointment that sometimes can be a short as five or 10 minutes helps make their lifestyle a lot easier.

"Some people still feel they need to go to Brisbane to get things done but you can have the same exact level of care here and not have to travel."

Dr Christie said he will talk about prostate treatment from a medical oncology perspective plus a brief on surgical and radiation.

"There will be a little update on cancer in general - new therapies that are coming out and in the pipeline and also what we do down here as part of the cancer care and try and promote that a little bit," he said.

"This evening is not restricted to just prostate cancer, it's for anyone who wants to come along and learn about the latest developments in cancer care. If you want to find out about anything specific I am happy to have a chat."

cancer information evening

The Maryborough Prostate Cancer Support Group is inviting everyone to the Cancer Information Evening. Topics to be discussed include what is new in the detection and treatment of all cancers, what is on offer at Hervey Bay and future treatments.

The event will be held on Monday, December 4, at St Stephen's Uniting Church hall, Sussex St, Maryborough. Doors open 6pm for a 6.30pm start. Tea and coffee will be provided.

For information phone Leoll on 0407 131 513 or Bevan on 0407 628 072.

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