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Local cancer specialists remind Goulburn Valley residents the importance of early detection

Meet the GenesisCare team committed to closing the care gap for local cancer patients

Shepparton, Victoria – To coincide with World Cancer Day, specialists from local oncology provider GenesisCare are reminding Goulburn Valley residents the importance of early detection and diagnosis for cancer.

Figures released by the Cancer Council’s Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR) found 2420 fewer Victorians were diagnosed with the most common cancer types in 2020, a drop in seven per cent compared to previous years. Prostate cancer was one of the most undiagnosed cancer types in 2020, with a 13 per cent drop in detected cases.

The decline in new cancer diagnoses is due to several factors including the temporary closure of screening programs, consecutive lockdowns in the state and Victorians delaying visiting their GP out of fear of contracting COVID-19.

Registered Nurse at GenesisCare Shepparton, Samantha Hall, said while it can be “understandably quite anxiety provoking visiting a GP or clinic during the current Omicron wave, it is imperative that Goulburn Valley residents remain diligent with their regular health checks and screenings.”

“Early detection, screening and diagnosis have been proven to significant improve patient survival rates and quality of life and can significantly reduce the number of treatments required,” said Ms Hall.

The 2022 theme for World Cancer Day, marked annually on the 4th of February, is “Closing the Care Gap” which is focused on raising awareness of the equity gap that affects many individuals and communities, potentially costing the lives of those impacted by cancer.

Patient Support Officer at GenesisCare Shepparton, Allison Elliot, said the teams at GenesisCare and Goulburn Valley Health have worked “tirelessly over the past 48 months to ensure cancer patients can continue to receive treatment in a safe environment.”

“Cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19 and since the beginning of the pandemic we have had strict quality and safety measures in place to minimise the risks to patients, many of whom are immunosuppressed.”

“It is fantastic that patients from across the region are able to access radiation therapy in Shepparton as it would have been incredibly physically and mentally taxing to travel into Melbourne for treatment in the current environment,’ said Ms Elliot.

Unit Leader at GenesisCare Shepparton, Oscar Riches, said the entire team have “done an incredible job at keeping patients feel reassured and creating a sense of normalcy when patients walk through the door.”

“Everyone from our front office staff, through to our patient support officers, our physicists, radiation therapists and doctors, are passionate about delivering the best possible care to patients and supporting them through one of the most challenging periods of their lives.”

“World Cancer Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the one of the biggest health burdens globally and talk about the steps we can all take individually and collectively to close the care gap for cancer patients,” said Mr Riches.