New treatment for cancer patients

National, Normal

The National, Monday 17th June 2013

 WOMEN suffering from cervical cancer will now receive improved treatment with the arrival of the first selectron machine at Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae, Morobe. 

The new machine is expected to improve treatment results by 30%, according to chief oncologist Dr John Niblett.

Angau currently has a cobalt machine that treats cervical cancer from the outside the body while the selectron has applicators that are inserted into the body closer to the cancer tumour.

Niblett said it had a better success rate because of a higher dose rate which reduced further complications. 

He added that the selectron was an essential part of radiation treatment for cervical cancer in PNG.

Cancer of the cervix is the most prevalent cancer affecting women in the country, especially those in the productive ages of between 35 and 55 years with most seeking medical treatment in the latter stage of the disease.  

Niblett said there were already cases of infliction among younger women.  

“The selectron can also be used for early treatment of the cancer which normally requires extensive surgery.” 

“Another upside of this machine is that two patients, one with cervical cancer and another with another such as skin cancer can receive treatment at the same time,” Niblett said.

The fully refurbished machine was donated by the University of Antwerpen in Belgium with a full year warranty and five years of post warranty service. 

Parts were donated by Auckland hospital in New Zealand. 

Three volunteer specialists from Australia and Netherlands were in Lae last week to oversee the installation of the machine.

An annex is currently being upgraded at Angau to house the special radioactive equipment.