Delivering cutting-edge radiation therapy treatment for liver cancer

Icon Writers / 29 Aug, 2022

Icon Cancer Centre Maroochydore now supporting local patients to access advanced radiation therapy treatment for liver cancer

Icon Cancer Centre Maroochydore is helping local liver cancer patients avoid the stress of travelling to Brisbane through the introduction of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR) to treat tumours, including tumours that have spread from a primary cancer. Previously, Maroochydore liver cancer patients have travelled an hour-and-a-half each way to receive this treatment.

Pelican Waters local, Jenny Kew is the first liver cancer patient to be treated with SABR at Icon Cancer Centre Maroochydore. The 80-year-old was first diagnosed with cancer in 2000.

“My cancer journey has been a long one. I was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2000, which was operated on in 2001. I was cancer free until 2013, when I was diagnosed with a mass on the liver. I then had half of my liver removed. A year later I was diagnosed with cancer near the aorta. Since then, it’s been an ongoing battle and it’s now about managing not curing the cancer,” Jenny said.

When tumours were discovered on Jenny’s liver, she was grateful when informed she was a suitable patient for the new SABR treatment. Jenny underwent 5 SABR sessions with minimal side effects.

“I feel very lucky to be the first patient to receive this new treatment in Maroochydore. I did experience some sickness the day after my sessions, but it wasn’t too bad. That was the only side effect. I actually found the treatment very comfortable,” Jenny said.

“If you concentrate on what the staff tell you to do, it’s actually a relaxing experience. It’s been wonderful for me to have the treatment close to home. My husband, Roy is 83 and couldn’t drive into the city.”

“We sat down and worked it out and it would have cost a lot of money to travel to Brisbane. Being able to have this treatment at Icon in Maroochydore has made life a lot easier for both of us. And it’s a joy to go there.”

“When you walk in the door at Icon, you are greeted like a VIP. There are lots of things that can go wrong when treating the liver, but I was put at ease straight away.”

Icon Cancer Centre Maroochydore Radiation Oncologist, Dr Joanne Castelli said SABR delivers high doses of radiation with absolute accuracy compared to traditional radiation therapy. The technology allows a high dose of radiation to be delivered very precisely to the tumour, without compromising surrounding healthy organs due to the ability to treat with sub millimeter accuracy.

“Stereotactic ablative radiation therapy is an effective treatment for liver cancers when patients are not suitable for surgery. The treatment involves 3-5 short outpatient sessions and patients usually feel well during radiotherapy. I am glad to be able to offer this treatment option to our patients locally, taking away the stress of travelling during this difficult time,” Dr Castelli said.

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