New ‘tattoo free’ radiation therapy treatment for breast cancer patients in the greater Shepparton region

For the first time in the Goulburn Valley, local breast cancer patients will no longer require permanent tattoo markers during radiation therapy, with GenesisCare Shepparton introducing a new tattoo-free treatment option.

To coincide with International Women’s Day, GenesisCare is announcing the availability of two new innovative services for local breast cancer patients: tattoo-free radiation therapy, and deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) for women with left sided breast cancer.

Traditionally, breast cancer patients received permanent tattoo marks during radiation therapy to ensure treatment was delivered to a precise location. Thanks to recent advancements in Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) technology, online corrections to patient position can be easily achieved, eliminating the need for permanent marks on patients’ skin.

For women with left-sided breast cancer, DIBH is a technique which reduces the effects of radiation to the heart to minimise the risk of long-term cardiac complications.

Dr Grace Ong, GenesisCare Shepparton Radiation Oncologist, said: “For many women with breast cancer, permanent ink marks can serve as an unwanted reminder of their cancer diagnosis or treatment.

“We are incredibly proud to be introducing tattoo-free radiation therapy to the Goulburn Valley which will eliminate the added emotional impact of having permanent tattoos.”

“In replacement of traditional tattoo markers, we are using a new technique which is much more patient friendly, and at the same time allows for highly precise daily treatment.”

“We are also pleased to announce the availability of deep inspiration breath hold for patients with left sided breast cancer, which is a method where patients are asked to hold their breath during radiation, moving the heart further away from the chest wall.”

Shane Ryan, GenesisCare Victoria Oncology General Manager, said: “We are delighted to be here today on International Women’s Day to announce the availability of two new breast cancer services in the Goulburn Valley region.”

“Previously, local breast cancer patients were having to travel over 200kms to receive daily radiation for up to 6 weeks, which can place a significant emotional and physical burden on patients and their families.”

“We have such incredible inspiring women here in local community, and our team at GenesisCare Shepparton are committed to ensuring these ladies receive the highest quality of care, close to home.”

The GenesisCare Shepparton centre opened in December 2019, supported by a public private partnership with the Victorian Government.


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