Australian first radiation technology in Queensland

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A Queensland patient has become the first person in Australia to be treated with the Varian Halcyon system at the Radiation Oncology Centre in St Andrew’s Hospital Toowoomba.

Retired boilermaker, Dennis McNamara was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2017 and was the first to be treated 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,” Mr McNamara said.

Mr McNamara has a family history of cancer with one brother being diagnosed with kidney cancer, another brother having passed away from lymphoma and his mum had pancreatic cancer.

Mr McNamara said he was shocked when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer as he showed no symptoms.

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

St Andrew’s Hospital Toowoomba CEO, Ray Fairweather said the introduction of this new radiation oncology equipment that improves safety and accuracy is of high priority to St Andrew’s and the people in the Darling Downs Region.

“We are excited to be able to offer the latest in oncology technology to the patients of Toowoomba. With our state of the art facilities and Radiation Oncology Centre’s commitment to continually invest in equipment available at the St Andrew’s Cancer Centre, the latest treatment for cancer patients is now a reality in Toowoomba,” said Mr Fairweather.

The new Varian Halcyon system was purchased by the Radiation Oncology Centre, a part of Icon Group, that is located in St Andrew’s Hospital Toowoomba.

Icon Group CEO, Mark Middleton said the company remains focused on bringing cancer care to where people live, especially those in regional areas.

“In Australia, we’re continuing to deliver comprehensive cancer care services, that were once only available in cities, and bringing them to people in regional areas, reducing the emotional and social burden of cancer, and ensuring regional patients have access to the very best cancer treatment possible.

“We’re proud to bring the latest Halcyon technology to our Queensland patients and continue our commitment to support access to the very best care for the people who need it,” said Mr Middleton.

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