Port Macquarie head and neck cancer regional clinic launched | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Lifehouse News

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Comprehensive Cancer Centre is extending specialist services to the Port Macquarie area, with a regular clinic for head and neck tumour patients.

Around 17,160 people live with head and neck cancers in Australia, with nearly 5,000 people newly diagnosed each year. Many of these patients come from regional centres.

Professor Carsten Palme, who leads the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse comprehensive cancer centre’s head and neck surgery department says the new clinics will complement existing services for cancer patients in the Port Macquarie region.

“Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is one of Australia’s only two dedicated comprehensive cancer hospitals, and is located in Sydney. The purpose-built cancer hospital has the largest cancer clinical trials centre in New South Wales, and one of the largest in Australia.

“Our aim is to work closely with the GP community and existing surgical, radiation and medical oncologists to complement patient services in the region, and reduce the need for patients to travel long distances for complex specialist and follow-up consultations.

“We look forward to applying our integrated model of care to patients in the Port Macquarie region.”

Professor Palme says people should have symptoms checked if they are worried. “Signs include lumps in the neck and inside the mouth. If people have concerns they should see their GP”

The incidence of some head and neck cancers has increased dramatically during the last two decades. For example, oropharyngeal cancer, or tonsil and tongue base cancer, has increased by 225% over the last 20 years due to the rise of the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Head and neck specialist Dr Hubert Low said: “Sun exposure has become another leading cause of head and neck cancers, whereas in the past, smoking and alcohol were the most well-known causes of head and neck cancer, typically affecting areas like the mouth, throat and voice box.

“Fortunately, significant improvement in outcomes has been achieved with a multidisciplinary and integrated treatment approach delivering the latest in minimally invasive surgical and reconstructive techniques. In addition, delivering targeted radiation and chemotherapy has significantly reduced side effects and improved quality of life. Patients, families and their carers will significantly benefit from this approach by highly specialized centres such as the Chris O Brien Lifehouse.”

Professor Palme and his team will be available at new rooms located inside Westside Medical Centre, 11 Highfields Circuit, Port Macquarie 2444.

For clinic inquires and patient bookings please contact our Head & Neck practice administrator at Tel: +61 2 8514 0432 or email: headandneck@lh.org.au

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