This month the Bowen Icon Cancer Centre celebrates a year of delivering quality cancer care in New Zealand. Since opening in 2017, the state-of-the-art cancer centre has overseen 890 treatments and supported more than 120 patients on their cancer journey.
The anniversary marks a significant milestone for Wellington resident, Sue Hope, who was the first patient to be treated at the cancer centre. Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and required surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to fight the disease.
“When I was first diagnosed with cancer I was beside myself. There was a lot of unknown and although I was trying to put a brave face on for my 14-year-old son, it was a very emotional experience,” said Sue.
“The centre opened at the same time as I was deciding where to receive chemotherapy. The team were friendly and very experienced, so I knew that I would be looked after. After my first visit, I remember feeling reassured that I was going to be okay. Everyone was so welcoming, I felt safe and secure.”
Icon Group, Australia’s largest dedicated cancer care provider, partnered with Acurity Health Group to open Wellington’s first private cancer centre last August to provide additional treatment options for local cancer patients.
The companies have announced that a new state-of-the-art radiation technology will be installed and ready to treat patients by early next year. The Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator will have capacity to deliver 9,000 radiation therapy treatments annually. The machine delivers pinpoint accurate radiation therapy to the tumour while minimising radiation exposure to other tissue and organs. The addition of the new technology will be welcomed by local patients who are seeking private radiation treatment, as they currently have to travel to Auckland or Christchurch.
“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 therapy, and reduces the burden on the patient and their loved ones.” said Mark Middleton CEO of Icon Group.
“The continuity of care is an important factor for me. It means that every day I go into the centre for treatment I’m welcomed by the same people who know me and my story – it is a real comfort,” agrees Sue.
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.
The centre marks its first anniversary 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. 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.
Bowen Icon Cancer Centre offers treatment for all cancers and blood disorders and personalised support for patients and their loved ones for every step of their cancer treatment. The centre includes a 6-chair day hospital with the ease of no wait-list, consultation and treatment in a timely manner, free parking for patients and an experienced team of medical professionals.