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Breast cancer community forum puts patients at centre of care

Dec. 12, 2022

Prof Owen Ung RBWH foundation Simone Garske

The Metro North Health Comprehensive Breast Cancer Institute (CBCI) held its inaugural community forum on 30 November 2022 to showcase improvements in breast cancer services for women.

Motivated by putting the patient at the centre of care, innovative research is being meshed with the implementation of programs that shorten the pathway of care and improve quality of life after treatment.

Clinicians in multidisciplinary teams presented some of these breast cancer treatment services now being delivered:

  • Radio-guided Occult Lesion Localisation using Iodine-125 Seeds (ROLLIS) service for pre-operative localisation of impalpable breast lesions is a radiotracer seed method that is replacing existing hookwire localisation procedures. The seeds can be placed weeks in advance of surgery making an easier pathway for the patient.
  • Intra Operative Radio Therapy (IORT) is being introduced for selected women. It shortens what is normally three to six weeks of external beam radiation to be delivered intraoperatively in just 15 to 20 minutes.
  • One Step Nucleic Acid Amplification (OSNA) technology now allows for an accurate assessment of sentinel lymph nodes prior to surgery, facilitating one step procedures and potentially preventing additional returns to theatre.
  • 3D printed bio-fabricated scaffolds are being introduced for breast reconstruction which could potentially revolutionise the way breast reconstruction is offered.

CBCI Community Engagement Committee members shared their lived experience of breast cancer treatment and a Q&A panel fielded questions from the audience.

Dr Meg Cairns is a member of the CBCI Community Engagement Committee and the CBCI Clinical Reference Group and sat on the Q&A panel. "It was a privilege to be involved in the forum to learn about the latest innovations being utilised in breast cancer treatment in Metro North and to meet clinicians, scientists and community members face-to-face," said Dr Cairns.

More than 200 people attended the community forum which was the result of collaboration of clinical groups led by the CBCI Community Engagement Committee and supported by the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Foundation.

The intent of these community forums is to engage the community and primary care providers with knowledge of the research and innovation through technology that is occurring in Metro North Health, which is continuing to put breast cancer patients at the centre of care.

Photo: Prof Owen Ung (Director CBCI) and Ms Simone Garske (CEO RBWH Foundation).

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