57-year-old Erika Gosling was first diagnosed with breast cancer on the 10th of August this year, after putting off her breast screening for more than five years.
“I had found a lump in my left breast and was going to be blasé about it, but decided to go get it checked. From the second I got my mammogram I knew something was wrong. Something in the back of my mind was saying ‘prepare yourself, you have breast cancer’. Although my breast cancer was discovered early, it was quite aggressive and required both surgery and radiation therapy,” Ms Gosling said.
Thankfully, with the opening of Icon Cancer Centre Cairns, Erika is now able to receive her six weeks of radiation therapy treatment using the IDENTIFY™ Surface Guidance System with the support of her family who live in Far North Queensland.
“I temporarily relocated to Cairns to be closer to my 15-year-old son during treatment. I’m so glad that I made that decision, it was meant to be! The staff have been lovely and to be treated in such a beautiful centre where my family can be here to support me through this journey is wonderful,” Ms Gosling said.
“I feel very honoured to have received the first treatment using IDENTIFY in the Southern Hemisphere and to be in such good hands. I have high blood pressure and when I found out this new treatment can reduce the radiation exposure to my heart and lungs and the damage this can cause, I was so relieved. The fact that I am only at the centre for five minutes each day also makes things much easier.”
For Mayoress of the City of Cairns Claire Manning, the opening of Icon Cancer Centre Cairns has a special meaning.
“With the opening of Icon Cancer Centre Cairns, I’m very proud to see Far North Queensland cancer patients have access to a wider range of treatment options and the latest in cancer technology such as the IDENTIFY system,” Mrs Manning said.
“To further reduce the burden of travelling away from home with amazing cancer care located in our own hometown is truly a benefit for our local community.”
Icon Cancer Centre Cairns Site Manager Brock Ditton says the centre is dedicated to improving access to advanced cancer care services in Far North Queensland.
“We know that in Cairns, both cancer incidence and mortality rates are higher than the Australian average. As the first private radiation oncology facility to open in Far North Queensland, we believe that bringing complex radiation therapy technology closer to home will make a significant difference to local patients and their families both now and in the future,” Mr Ditton said.
Icon’s national network means they can leverage highly specialised techniques and technologies such as tattoo-less radiation therapy across their centres, including in regional and metropolitan areas. The delivery of these techniques includes national training, extensive quality assurance checks and support to ensure treatment is delivered with the highest safety and quality.
With 31 centres across Australia and several under development, Icon Cancer Centre is proud to now offer 11 radiation oncology facilities in Queensland with the introduction of Icon Cancer Centre Cairns. The centre is committed to providing affordable care for all patients, with no private health insurance required for radiation therapy and up to 80-90% of costs covered by Medicare. Icon Cancer Centre Cairns offers the latest in radiation therapy techniques including Deep Inspiration Breath Hold, stereotactic radiation therapy and surface-guided radiation therapy, alongside free on-site parking and access to lymphoedema screening, allied health and support services.