World class facility for cancer patients
Celebrating the completion of its new worldclass radiation oncology centre, Bowen Icon Cancer Centre is now equipped with the very latest in technology.
Staffed by an experienced management and clinical team, Bowen Icon Cancer Centre is the only fully integrated private cancer facility for oncology outpatients throughout the Wellington and surrounding region.
Complementing the centre’s existing chemotherapy and immunotherapy service, which offers access to non-Pharmac drugs, the new radiation oncology service provides patients with the latest treatment techniques via a state-of-the-art machine.
The cornerstone of the new development is a radiation linear accelerator designed and developed by Varian Medical Systems, an American based company specialising in oncology treatments.
Darien Montgomerie, Bowen Icon Cancer Centre’s manager says the linear accelerator uses highly targeted radiation to treat cancer. One of the specific brain cancer treatments it will deliver is a first for New Zealand and the third in Australasia.
“While chemotherapy is a drug that’s injected into a vein and then goes through your blood stream and through your whole body, radiation therapy is directed just to the area where the cancer is and it’s only treating that particular area.
“It doesn’t make you radioactive and doesn’t impact on the rest of the body.”
Darien explains that the kind of treatment that is used to treat cancer, depends on the type of cancer. “Some cancers respond very well to radiation and some don’t. So we can now offer the full suite of services for our patients not requiring an overnight stay.”
The centre currently has one linear accelerator at a cost of around $3 million, with plans to purchase another machine once community need dictates it.
Each machine has capacity for around 30-40 patients per day, and delivers radiation therapy with pinpoint precision and speed.
A key part of the new development was the construction of two purpose-built concrete bunkers designed to house the linear accelerators. Built by Australian company Cornerstone Bunker Solutions, each bunker is 67sqm and has concrete walls up to 2.1 metres thick.
Adjoining the oncology bunkers through a short corridor, the refurbished lower level of the Bowen Hospital has been transformed into the radiation oncology department which Darien says holds everything required to deliver a state-of-the-art service.
“The space was refurbished by Choice Commercial and has consulting rooms, a CT simulator and space for staff to undertake radiation therapy planning.
“Everything attached to the radiation therapy facility at the Bowen Icon Cancer Centre is the latest in leading edge technology.”
Located in Crofton Downs in the northern suburbs of Wellington, Bowen Icon Cancer Centre is easily accessed from the motorway.
“The great thing about where we’re located is that with all the public medical services on the other side of town in Newtown, it saves people who are coming from up the Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa having to drive all the way into Wellington CBD and then across the town to get to access the services.”
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