World-class, private radiation therapy service now open

Published: Thu 21 Feb 2019 09:07 AM
World-class, private radiation therapy service now open in Wellington
Bowen Icon Cancer Centre has opened a world-class radiation oncology facility for residents of Wellington and surrounding central New Zealand. Located at Bowen Hospital in Crofton Downs, this is the first private radiation therapy offering in the region.
The opening of the private radiation therapy service provides access to the latest in radiation oncology technology – a Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator worth over $3 million. The state-of-the-art system delivers radiation therapy with pinpoint precision and speed, and has capacity to deliver 9,000 radiation therapy treatments annually.
That means over 500 patients with cancer are expected to access the service for private radiation therapy over the next three years.
Access to the new technology has been welcomed by local patients who are seeking private radiation treatment. Patients who want private care currently have to travel to Auckland or Christchurch.
Wellington resident, Rachel, was one of the first patients to receive radiation treatment at the cancer centre. Rachel was diagnosed with breast cancer late last year and required surgery followed by radiation to fight the disease.
“I had no family history or known risk factors, so my diagnosis came as a surprise. I had surgery late last year followed by radiation therapy which started last month and finishes this week.”
“I live in Kapiti but work in Wellington City. I can drive from treatment to work which only takes about fifteen minutes. With parking at the centre, the logistics were easy” explained Rachel.
Already delivering private day oncology services, the state-of-the-art cancer centre has overseen 890 treatments and supported more than 120 patients on their cancer journey, with patients coming from Wellington and as far afield as the Hawkes Bay.
“The facilities and equipment are leading which is fantastic, but it’s the team that really makes my journey as painless as possible. They even showed my children how the equipment worked so they could understand what was happening to Mum” said Rachel.
Bowen Icon Cancer Centre - a partnership between Acurity Health Group and specialist cancer care provider Icon Group - is the only fully integrated private cancer facility for oncology outpatients throughout the Wellington and surrounding region.
Mr Mark Middleton, CEO of Icon Group said the introduction of cutting-edge radiation therapy technology will benefit residents of central New Zealand.
“Continued investment in the best technology available will ensure people have a greater choice. A cancer diagnosis is difficult for anyone but providing quality comprehensive care under one roof ensures streamlined and effective treatment, and reduces the burden on the patient and their loved ones.” said Mark Middleton CEO of Icon Group.
Acurity Health Group CEO Dr Jonathan Coleman welcomes the addition of radiation therapy services.
“The cancer burden in New Zealand continues to rise every year, so the need for treatment options is vital. We are pleased to work with Icon and provide the central New Zealand community with comprehensive private cancer care alongside our surgical services,” said Dr Coleman.
“Patients currently have to travel to Auckland or Christchurch for private radiation treatment. Making radiation oncology available gives patients’ greater choice in directing their care, helps ease pressure on the public system and ensures continuity of care for those patients having both chemotherapy and radiation”.
The introduction of radiation therapy services has opened at a time when the cancer burden in New Zealand continues to rise. It is estimated 23,000 people have cancer in New Zealand and 63 people are diagnosed every day.[i][ii] As the cancer burden increases so does the need for greater access to the best technology possible and greater choice of quality care to as many people as possible.

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