For the first time, Western NSW Local Health District is offering a new radiation therapy for breast cancer patients that can reduce the amount of radiation to the heart by 50 per cent.
Targeting patients receiving treatment to the left sided breast, fourteen patients have been involved in the treatment since it started four months ago at Orange Health Service.
Chief Radiation Therapist, Rod Hammond, said that it is a positive program for the district.
“This therapy has been developed by radiation therapy experts and has been used successfully in many other radiation therapy services.
“Our radiation therapy team are passionate about improving our services and have worked hard to incorporate this technique into the care we're providing here in Orange.
“Patients have had, on average, a 33 per cent reduction of radiation to the heart however one patient has had a reduction of 53 per cent.
“Patients actively take part in their treatment by learning to regulate their breathing cycle to allow the radiation to penetrate only after they have breathed in and their lungs are full.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to focus on developments in breast cancer prevention and treatment.
Breast patients make up between 20 to 25 per cent of the radiation therapy patient load at Orange Health Service – so on any given day up to 20 breast patients are treated.
Woman can book a mammogram today with BreastScreen NSW by calling 13 20 50, or can book online or search for their nearest BreastScreen NSW service by visiting breastscreen.nsw.gov.au