Cork University Hospital launches Deep Inspiration Breath Hold radiotherapy service

Posted on: 9th March, 2018

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Service will benefit 60 per cent of breast cancer patients attending CUH, an average of 180 patients every year

Cork University Hospital (CUH) has launched a new radiotherapy service, Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH). This service, which reduces radiation doses to the heart is a unique way of treating patients with left sided breast cancer. DIBH will immediately benefit 60pc of breast cancer patients attending CUH, an average of 180 patients a year. The equipment for this new treatment was kindly sponsored by Aid Cancer Treatment (ACT), an independent charity dedicated to improving cancer treatment services at CUH.

Left-sided breast cancer patients are at a heightened risk when receiving radiation treatment, as there is limited protection for the heart during treatment. In some cases, radiation treatment can be extremely harmful to these patients. DIBH radiotherapy treatment is delivered to patients while they are holding a deep breath, as this moves a patient’s breast away from their heart. The patient’s breathing is carefully controlled by specialist equipment, and as a result, radiation doses to the patient’s heart are vastly reduced. This has long-term benefits to the patient and reduces the rate of morbidity and mortality. This new therapy was enabled through a multidisciplinary effort in CUH’s radiotherapy oncology department.

Tony McNamara, Chief Executive Officer of CUH said, “We at Cork University Hospital are very proud to announce the launch of our new DIBH radiation therapy service. I’d like to thank the staff of the radiation therapy department for their efforts in bringing this cutting-edge treatment to the patients of CUH. I’d also like to thank Aid Cancer Treatment for sponsoring the equipment used during treatment.”

CUH patients with left sided breast cancer will now be able to avail of this safer radiation treatment without having to travel to Waterford or Dublin. This new treatment will benefit all those suffering from left sided breast cancer in Cork and the surrounding areas.

L-R: Patricia Coen (Physicicst), Laura Friel (Dosimetrist). Brenda Murphy (Clinical Specialist Radiation Therapist), Maeve McGarry (Radiation Therapy Services Manager). Emma Gayer (Senior Radiation Therapist) Dr. Carol McGibney (Consultant Radiation Oncologist), Erica Bennett (Clinical Specialist Radiation Therapist)

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