Cancer patients can rejoice

IF you're a cancer sufferer on the Coffs Coast the face of Associate Professor Tom Shakespeare would be a refreshing one.

This highly regarded radiation oncologist was recently appointed to the position of new acting director for Area Cancer Services.

And, being based in Coffs Harbour, Prof Shakespeare makes life for cancer patients a little easier by offering access to specialised treatment every two weeks through local clinics held here, in Port Macquarie, and Grafton.

Prof Shakespeare recently returned from a five-year posting in Singapore and he said these clinical services were previously provided by visiting radiation oncology specialists from Sydney.

"In my role, I am responsible for ensuring a high quality of cancer care for all North Coast patients and the establishment of radiotherapy facilities as part of the Integrated Cancer Care Services in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, and Lismore," Prof Shakespeare said.

"With Integrated Cancer Care Services opening in Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, patients will be able to receive radiotherapy treatment locally and avoid having to travel to Sydney and be away from home and family for long periods," he said.

The clinics are held fortnightly in Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie and monthly in Grafton.

Prof Shakespeare said the clinics were for patients referred by general practitioners and specialists for investigation and management of all cancer types.

Prof Shakespeare travels to Sydney weekly to follow-up and treat patients from the clinics at the Radiation Oncology Unit at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

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