THE Gold Coast will celebrate the official opening of radiation therapy services at Gold Coast University Hospital on World Cancer Day, giving cancer patients affordable access to lifesaving treatment.
About half of all cancer patients will require radiotherapy treatment at some stage after diagnosis.
More than 3000 people are diagnosed with cancer on the Gold Coast alone each year, and around 1000 die from the disease.
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Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift has welcomed today’s milestone for Gold Coast cancer patients.
“The burden of cancer is set to grow over the next few years with an ageing and increasing population – one in two people on the Gold Coast will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime,” Ms Clift said.
“Now, more than ever, local, affordable access to lifesaving treatment is vital for every cancer patient.
“Radiotherapy treatment offered locally on the Gold Coast will save many patients from having to make the trip to Brisbane for treatment.
“We’re pleased the official opening of this service will also reduce waiting list times for radiotherapy treatment across the state.
“Patients will also have access to CCQ’s free cancer counselling service and support programs, to underpin the high standard of clinical care provided by Radiation Oncology Queensland (ROQ) and the Gold Coast University Hospital.”
Gold Coast Health Chief Executive Ron Calvert said he was pleased to see the commencement of this vital but previously missing component of public cancer services.
“The team at Gold Coast Health is confident about the quality of service being provided which will see up to 80 patients a day being treated when both linear accelerators are up and running,” Mr Calvert said.
“Access to multi-disciplinary treatment closer to home will help to improve quality of life for local patients and ease the strain that often comes with travelling for treatment.”
The service is currently seeing approximately 25 patients per day. More than 100 patients have been consulted since ROQ commenced in September and it is expected over 800 patients will be treated in the first year.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at http://www.cancerqld.org.au/ or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.