Previously, Redland residents who needed radiation therapy for their cancer had to travel into Brisbane city for their treatment. The newly opened world-class Radiation Oncology Centre (ROC) in the Redland health precinct now provides a much needed service for the local community.
Former resident Margaret Burton is one example of someone who would have benefitted from a local radiation oncology centre. Margaret was diagnosed with an aggressive skin cancer. Having felt completely healthy, she was shocked by the news. Margaret had to receive radiation therapy treatment in inner city Brisbane and didn’t have anyone to take her. An ambulance was organised to take her to and from her treatment each day for 6 weeks. Then only a month after finishing her treatment, Margaret was told a new cancer spot had appeared and she had to get a further 6 weeks of radiation therapy. Only just having been able to find a bit of normality again, she had to make the journey once more.
“I don’t drive, so every day I waited for an ambulance to take me to Brisbane; it was so inconvenient and tiring; and then I had to do it all over again. The travelling was traumatic, I was completely drained. Once you come back from treatment, you’ve still got to do things around the house like make dinner, do the washing; but all that travel combined with the side-effects of treatment leaves you without any energy,” she said.
The stress and inconvenience of constant travel ended up being too much for Margaret so she made the difficult decision to move into Brisbane closer to family who could give her the support she needed. “I wouldn’t have left the Redlands if it wasn’t for my cancer. It’s a lovely place to live.
Everyone is so friendly and everyone knows each other, you even get to know the bus drivers!” ROC is located in the Weippin Street Medical Precinct and adds to the wide range of existing health services including pathology, allied health and medical specialists. ROC compliments these services and further improves access to healthcare for locals.
“I keep in touch with friends there and I know being able to have every part of their cancer care locally means so much to them. Elderly people get very anxious about moving away from what is familiar to them, it’s nerve racking. For locals getting treatment at ROC, they will feel more at ease being in their own community and being surrounded by other patients they know and who share common interests,” Margaret said.
ROC CEO Jim Frantzis says delivering care close to home is at the heart of ROC’s mission. “We are committed to increasing access to the best cancer care treatment. We want more Australians to be able to receive all their cancer care on their door step. Our patients are in the capable hands of our friendly, experienced team, who ensure patients receive their radiation therapy in the most positive way possible. But we also understand it is so important for patients to have their loved ones near, and that is why we strongly believe in providing local cancer care,” ROC Redland provides a caring and personal environment for patients and their loved ones.
ROC is passionate about providing more Australians with access to cancer care and sees both public and private patients. The centre also includes cutting-edge radiation therapy technology for the benefit of patients. With no wait-list and fast access to experienced radiation oncologists and support networks, this centre is a huge bonus for the Redland community.