MORE cancer patients from Orange and the region will be treated at Orange hospital when the second linear accelerator begins operating today.
Cancer patients who require radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment will now experience a more seamless transition from diagnosis to the start of treatment with two medical oncologists now working in the cancer unit.
Orange cancer surgeon Dr Stuart Porges, who began lobbying for radiation therapy services for Orange several years ago, says today will be another milestone for cancer patients in the region.
“Of course there won’t necessarily mean an immediate doubling of the number of patients treated during the introductory phase, however there will be significant benefits initially and an increase in the numbers of patients being treated,” he said.
Dr Porges said one of the many advantages of a second linear accelerator being installed at Orange hospital would be at least one or two linear accelerators in operation every day.
“Obviously with this type of equipment there needs to be a time taken out for service and traditionally this has been occurring on a Monday,” he said.
“What this means is people who have been experiencing a six-week treatment period can now be treated over a five-week period.”
Dr Porges said when he visited the CareWest Lodge accommodation facility, which is just a short walk from the cancer unit, he was buoyed and reminded of the importance of a radiotherapy treatment service in Orange.
“I still get a real buzz when people who are staying at the lodge come up to me when I visit,” he said. “They tell me how happy they are to be able to stay in Orange while they are having their treatment and not have to go to Sydney.”
Dr Porges said the services now offered out of Orange hospital were far removed from experiences of years gone by.
“With the number of specialists and services we have it is hardly recognisable as the same medical facility that used to be Orange Base Hospital,” he said.
Dr Porges said he was confident with the assistance of a bank loan acquired by the governing body of the accommodation lodge, Cancer Care Western NSW, the second stage of the accommodation would be started later in the year.