Bundaberg, Queensland – Local cancer patients in the Wide Bay region will soon have increased access to cutting-edge radiation therapy treatments and techniques, thanks to the arrival of a world-class radiation therapy treatment machine at GenesisCare Bundaberg.
Since opening in 2018, GenesisCare Bundaberg has delivered over 25,500 treatments to more than 1650 cancer patients in the Wide Bay region. In response to increased demand for high quality cancer services, particularly driven by the burden and incidence of skin cancer in the local region, GenesisCare has invested in a second treatment machine.
The Elekta Versa HD linear accelerator will significantly increase the centres capacity to treat local cancer patients using stereotactic body radiation therapy (SABR), a cutting edge treatment that targets tumours in fewer high-dose treatments than traditional therapy, preserving healthy tissue and reducing the number of visits and treatments required. The centre will begin treating patients with the new technology in early 2021.
GenesisCare first introduced stereotactic body radiation therapy (SABR) for lung cancer patients in November 2019 and has since expanded the program to include treatment of bone cancers and nodes.
Lyn Tate, Centre Leader, GenesisCare Bundaberg, said: “At GenesisCare we are committed to ensuring all cancer patients, regardless of where they live, receive access to the latest cancer treatments and technology, closer to home.”
“The arrival of the second linear accelerator and the expansion of our stereotactic treatment program reinforces our commitment to providing the highest quality of cancer care for local cancer patients in the Wide Bay region.”
“We are also pioneering treatments for widespread non melanoma skin cancer and we are currently developing an outcomes registry which will inform the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer globally.”
Chris David, Unit Leader, GenesisCare Bundaberg, said: “Over the last year I have witnessed firsthand the profoundly positive impact stereotactic body radiation therapy has had on our patients. Typically, patients will require between three and five treatments with SABR, compared with 20 to 30 treatments with conventional therapy.
“Many of our patients live out of town and they are so relieved when they learn they only need to travel in for five treatments or less.”
Peter Wood, WBHHS Acting Executive Director of Acute Hospital and Community Services, said: “Our partnership with GenesisCare is key to providing public cancer patients in Wide Bay with world-class care in their own backyard, and is part of our continual overall drive to provide more specialist services closer to home.
“Getting a cancer diagnosis and going through treatment is stressful and exhausting for patients and their loved ones. The more services we can develop and deliver here, the more we can reduce the burden that’s often associated with lengthy treatment pathways and travel and make a big difference to the patient experience.”
In celebration of NAIDOC week, GenesisCare commissioned a local Indigenous artist to create a series of paintings, titled Burral The Creator, for the new treatment machine bunker.
The paintings represent the heritage of Burral the Creator and the four different elements of heaven and earth; wind, rock, water and fire. One of the paintings tells the story of the elders of the Bunda tribe who passed down the knowledge and wisdom of how to live on the land from hunting, as well as rites of passage such as the smoking ceremony, that would sustain the community from generation to generation.
Another painting tells the very famous dreamtime story of “Mee-Bar” the saltwater Turtle who travels back to home to Queensland, specifically to Bundaberg, to lay its eggs.