17.6 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Medicare approves 30-minute breast cancer treatment

Latest News

Cockroach climate

The cockroaches in the Byron Council offices are experiencing bright daylight at night. They are trying to determine whether...

Other News

Infrastructure for east end of Mullum

Mullumbimby was founded 135 years ago. In the 1960s sewerage was introduced, as was I suppose drainage infrastructure. Are...

Anti-Israel bias

Many locals have approached me to say how shocked they are at the extreme anti-Israel bias that is expressed...

Ballina Greens announce ticket for 2024

Aiming to build on their two existing councillors, the Ballina Greens have announced their team of candidates for the upcoming Ballina Shire Council elections, set for 14 September this year.

Save Wallum now

The Save Wallum campaign has been ongoing and a strong presence of concerned conservationists are on site at Brunswick...

Local grom takes national tube-riding prize

Local grom takes national tube-riding prize. Broken Head surfer Leihani Zoric has taken out first place in the U/14 girls and best barrel (girl) categories of the Australian Junior Online Surf Championships.

Third village for Alstonville Plateau?

A proposal to assess the viability of a third village on the Alstonville Plateau was discussed at Ballina Shire Council's last meeting.

Breast cancer surgeon Professor Christobel Saunders, deputy head of UWA’s School of Surgery. Photo contributed
Breast cancer surgeon Professor Christobel Saunders, deputy head of UWA’s School of Surgery. Photo contributed

An innovative radiotherapy technique that has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of early breast cancer will become available and affordable for all eligible women under Medicare from today.

Leading breast cancer surgeon Professor Christobel Saunders, deputy head of University of Western Australia’s (UWA) School of Surgery, said it was exciting to see Medicare approve a new treatment for the first time in many years.

Researchers from UWA trialled the ‘targeted intra-operative radiotherapy’ or TARGIT technique on almost 300 patients at the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre as part of a worldwide study examining its effects on a total of more than 2,000 patients aged over 45.

The research found that 30 minutes of in-theatre radiation using TARGIT, could replace the more expensive and time-consuming six weeks’ external beam radiotherapy. Side-effects of the treatment were also less. The latest results of the randomised clinical trial were published in 2014 in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet.

‘We’re delighted to see good evidence-based research translated into policy for the benefit of so many women, and at times, in the face of some fierce opposition,’ Professor Saunders said.

‘For eligible patients with early breast cancer, 30 minutes of in-theatre radiation could replace the more expensive and inconvenient six weeks of external beam radiotherapy. As well as the obvious benefits of completing all the necessary radiotherapy in a single session at the time of surgery, this method also almost completely avoids irradiation of other parts of the body such as the heart, lung and oesophagus.

Co-chairman of the TARGIT steering committee and consultant radiation oncologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Clinical Professor David Joseph said the Medicare-subsidised treatment would also mean reduced waiting lists and substantial savings for health-care systems in which breast cancer may account for a third of the workload in radiotherapy departments.

‘The side effects of the TARGIT treatment were also less than those experienced with external beam radiotherapy,’ Professor Joseph said.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A grim commemoration

US President Jo Biden, responding to a question, made the comment that the US is considering the dropping of the prosecution of Julian Assange. How...

Infrastructure for east end of Mullum

Mullumbimby was founded 135 years ago. In the 1960s sewerage was introduced, as was I suppose drainage infrastructure. Are we living in the 1920s...

Save Wallum now

The Save Wallum campaign has been ongoing and a strong presence of concerned conservationists are on site at Brunswick Heads. How the state planning...

Can Council’s overturn their decisions?

NSW Labor planning minister, Paul Scully, when asked about the Wallum estate by local MP Tamara Smith (Greens)  in parliament on March 20, said,...