Oncology - is a Greek term that means the ‘Study of Cancer’. The terms Oncology and Cancer can be used interchangeably in most instances.
Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.
Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start - for example, cancer that begins in the breast is called breast cancer.
Oncology is concerned with:
- The diagnosis of any cancer in a person
- The management of therapy used to treat cancer (e.g. surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other treatment types)
- Follow-up of cancer patients after successful treatment to support patients with ongoing toxicities and to monitor for the cancer returning
- Palliative care of patients with terminal cancers
- Ethical questions surrounding cancer care
- Screening efforts:
- of populations, or
- of the relatives of patients (in types of cancer that are thought to have a hereditary basis, such as breast cancer)
The Oncology Unit at WHCG is staffed by a very busy and progressive team that works to improve the cancer patient’s experience, while supporting them through the most appropriate, up to date treatment indicated for that person to improve survival and comfort.
The Oncology team at WHCG includes a visiting Medical Oncologist and Haematologist (Specialist doctor who looks after cancers and blood cancers) a Nurse Practitioner (a specialist cancer nurse) and a team of Nurses, who, together, deliver chemotherapy and provide support to the cancer patients under the care of the unit.
The chemotherapy day unit (CDU) is the hub of the cancer care team at Horsham.
It is a 7 chair /2 bed unit that treats on average 10-20 patients per day, Monday to Friday.
The CDU not only provides chemotherapy but other supportive care to patients to ease the burden of a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat chemotherapy and there are many different treatment combinations that may be given to a person. Each combination or regimen of drugs is chosen as being the most appropriate for each individual person.
Radiotherapy is the use of radiation to treat cancer, and this can only be given in larger Cancer Centres, as the building and equipment is very specialised. The closest centre to the Wimmera is Ballarat Regional Cancer Centre.
However people having radiotherapy may be able to have other supportive care in Horsham.
For further information or support please contact the CDU 0353819169 or the Nurse Practitioner, Carmel O’Kane on 0353819087 or 0427811269.
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