THE GOLD Coast’s only private radiation oncology clinic, Premion, has reached a prostate cancer treatment milestone, treating 100 patients with low dose rate brachytherapy with uniformly positive results.
Low dose rate brachytherapy is a form of radiation treatment which involves the precise placement of short-range radiation-sources (‘seeds’) directly at the site of the cancer.
Only one treatment procedure is required and in Premion’s experience the patients report fewer side effects, less requirement for medication post-treatment, less discomfort such as bladder irritation, no incontinence and no requirement for further treatment.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Premion radiation oncologist Professor David Christie says that the low dose rate of radiation released right at the cancer site allows radiation to be given off very slowly.
“Brachytherapy competes very successfully with other kinds of prostate treatment,” he says. “Most patients are able to tolerate the procedure very well and because they only need it once, it is very convenient.”
“We see a lot of patient benefit clinically, physically and psychologically and have identified no significant recurrence in the group so far as a result.”
Graham Wooldridge, retiree from Reedy Creek, was Premion’s 100th low dose rate brachytherapy patient.
“I only had the procedure last week and I feel 100 percent,” he says. “I’ve always been fit and healthy so a diagnosis of prostate cancer last year hit me like a brick in the face.
“When I was presented with my treatment options, I liked the sound of brachytherapy. Only having one procedure with minimal side effects looked pretty good to me.”
Professor Christie works closely with local urologists in treating prostate cancer. He has performed each of the 100 low dose rate brachytherapy procedures with urologist Dr Steve Bourne, who has referred each of the patients.
Over 20,000 men each year are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Australia, representing a third of all reportable cancers in men. The majority of patients are diagnosed at age 60 years and older. Each year, Premion treats about 1,200 men from the Gold Coast and Northern NSW for prostate cancer.
“Premion is one of Queensland’s leading radiation oncology providers and brachytherapy is one kind of treatment procedures,” adds Professor Christie. “The message to men diagnosed with prostate cancer is to consider all of their treatment options.
“There is a range of treatment modalities. The more informed patients are, the better equipped they are to talk to their doctor and make a treatment decision that is best for them.”
Premion, based in South East Queensland, is Queensland’s largest private radiation therapy provider, and has provided more than 100,000 patient treatments since commencing operations in 1988. With 13 Radiation Oncologists, Premion employs over 160 staff, and offers a comprehensive range of clinical services across its five treatment facilities: on the Gold Coast at Southport and John Flynn Private Hospital (Tugun); in Brisbane at Chermside and at The Wesley Hospital (Auchenflower); and on the Sunshine Coast at Nambour.