An innovative breast cancer treatment has become available to patients in Bunbury for the first time. The treatment option, called deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH), significantly reduces the risk of radiation to the heart during radiation therapy to minimise potential side effects.1 Previously, patients would have needed to travel over two hours to Perth for the same treatment.
The world-class treatment is now available at GenesisCare’s oncology centre within Bunbury Hospital, as part of a public private partnership with Western Australia Country Health Service.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Bunbury has one of the highest breast cancer incidences in the state of Western Australia.4 Breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer and second highest cause of death for women in Western Australia.2 It is estimated that 1 in 41 women will lose their lives to breast cancer by their 85th birthday.3
Radiation therapy is a highly effective form of cancer treatment, contributing to 40 per cent of all cancer cures worldwide. The DIBH technique requires patients with left side breast cancer to hold their breath during radiation therapy treatment, to increase the distance between the heart and radiation beam, minimising the risk of future heart conditions relating to treatment.1
Dr Eugene Leong, GenesisCare Radiation Oncologist, said: “DIBH is currently the best in practice radiation therapy option for women with left sided breast cancer. Breast and prostate cancer are the two most common tumours we treat with radiation therapy, so we are thrilled to be able to offer the benefits of this treatment to the Bunbury community, at their doorsteps. Our focus is to ensure great patient experiences and the best possible clinical outcomes, and DIBH offers both.”
Kerry Winsor, Regional Director for WA Country Health Service South West, said this was positive news for the community: “Patients across the South West are set to benefit from this new breast cancer treatment at Bunbury Hospital. The WA Country Health Service is pleased to be working in partnership with GenesisCare at Bunbury Hospital to deliver innovative radiotherapy treatments such as this one to local people.”
GenesisCare will also introduce the treatment at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth in April 2019. The innovative organisation delivers personalised cancer care across four locations in Western Australia, along with heart care and sleep care services at 20 locations in the state. It is continuing to expand its footprint, most recently with the announcement of a new centre in Mandurah, creating a growing number of employment opportunities within the state.
Michael Davis, General Manager of GenesisCare’s oncology services in Western Australia, said: “At GenesisCare we are always looking for ways to collaborate with local medical teams to improve access to the latest treatments for patients. Our promise is to continually improve and enhance cancer treatment services in local areas, so patients can stay close to home and reduce the burden of treatment.”
- 4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cancer Incidence and Mortality by small geographic areas