New oncology unit in Byron Bay

A NEW outreach oncology clinic which opened at Byron District Hospital last week would benefit not only cancer patients, but the whole community.

One of the first patients to use the Byron Hospital Oncology Service, Barbara Pinter, who is also the co-ordinator of the Byron Bay Breast Cancer Support Group, said the new clinic was a huge benefit to the area and meant that people did not have to travel to Lismore or Tweed Heads for consultative and follow-up services.

The clinic will be run by the Tweed/Byron Director of Oncology and Palliative Care Professor Ehtesham Abdi, as well as an experienced registrar and a senior nursing staff member from the Tweed Cancer Care Unit. Professor Abdi said the clinic would operate on the first Thursday of each month, and depending on the number of patients, could be extended to twice a month.

“We have been looking at opening the clinic in Byron Bay for quite some time, but we just didn’t have the staff,” he said.

“While we are not yet able to provide chemotherapy or radiotherapy services, it will be our long-term goal to provide these services.”

Professor Abdi said the clinic would provide a consultation service and would also dispense medication.

“We can provide patients with information on their condition and what treatment options they have,” he said.

“It also means that patients can now be treated closer to home and can also bring their family in to provide more support.”

Executive director of nursing Byron District Hospital Keryn York said the new clinic was “fantastic”. “I am extremely excited about this service for the community as it will bring people into the hospital where they will be able to access additional services and support,” she said.

Appointments can be made by contacting the Tweed Cancer Care Unit on 07 5506 7296.

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