Patient Stories / 30 May, 2018

An Australian first in radiation therapy

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An Australian first in radiation therapy

Toowoomba cancer patient Dennis McNamara was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2017 and was the first in Australia to be treated on the Halcyon system at ROC Toowoomba.

The Halcyon is the latest in radiation therapy technology. It streamlines and simplifies every aspect of a patient’s cancer treatment, delivering radiation therapy with pinpoint precision and speed. It has capacity to treat up to 50 patients a day at ROC, whilst providing a more comfortable service for patients.

71-year-old Dennis, a retired boilermaker has a family history of cancer with one brother having been diagnosed with kidney cancer and another brother having passed away from lymphoma, and his mum from pancreatic cancer. He was shocked when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer but he went through the motions and was prepared to tackle the treatment ahead.

“You can’t do anything about it but get the treatment you need,” Mr McNamara said.

Dennis has received three months of hormone therapy and started his radiation therapy treatment on 24 October 2017 on the Halcyon system.

“When I was told I would be the first patient to be treated on this machine, it felt exciting in a way. Of course, you don’t want to be there in the first place, but I also feel privileged to be able to get the latest treatment here in Toowoomba. It is nice to know you have people looking after you.”

The Halycon at ROC Toowoomba is the first to be installed in Australasia. The machine has been proudly named ‘Biarah’. The name is borrowed from the local Jarowair language and is in keeping of the spirit of reconciliation and acknowledgement of the important role that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people in the local community.

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