Prostate cancer patients to access new treatment from July

Radiation therapists are ready to deliver the new treatment to local patients. Photo: MNCLHD.

THE area’s prostate cancer patients will soon have access to a new radiotherapy treatment.

Called Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR), it delivers a high dose with extreme precision.

This reduces the impact on healthy organs and leads to fewer treatments.

Previously, the program was only available in some Australian cities.

It is currently used in Coffs Harbour and will be available in Port Macquarie in July.

Project lead Amie Ross said setting up SABR outside a metropolitan centre involved extensive national and international consultation to work through delivering the technique in a smaller setting.

“The SABR technique reduces the number of radiation treatments required for prostate cancer from between 20 and 45, to as few as five,” she said.

However, it is not for everyone.

“There is an eligibility criterion based on individual patient factors, which the radiation oncologist will carefully consider,” Ms Ross said.

A grant from Coffs Harbour’s Shearwater Lodge to the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute (MNCCI) funded a radiotherapy project officer, who will now train existing staff.

According to the Australian Cancer Council, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men, with the exception of skin cancer.

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