MNCCI Occupational Therapist Jodie Rossiter and Breast Cancer Nurse Consultant Joanne Woodlands were on hand to thank Hastings Cancer Trust Chairman Dr Stephen Begbie and No One Fights Cancer Alone’s Patricia Knudsen for working together to donate the SOZO unit.

Innovative cancer care boost from two local charities

Apr 12, 2021
This article was published 3 years ago.

Mid North Coast cancer patients will have access to an innovative health program thanks to Hastings Cancer Trust and No One Fights Cancer Alone.

The two local charities contributed funds towards the cost of an $11,886.98 SOZO, a device that provides non-invasive fluid and tissue analysis in cancer patients.

Hastings Cancer Trust allocated $7000 from its annual grants program and No One Fights Cancer Alone picked up the balance.

Together, the charities have brought an innovative cancer care opportunity to the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute (MNCCI) at Port Macquarie on the back of an extensive trial of the device.

Lymphoedema Therapy Clinical Nurse Specialist Heidi Hughes said maintaining tissue fluid bal­ance was essential for all people, but this balance was sometimes compromised for survivors of many types of cancer, particularly breast, melanoma and gynaecological cancers, where patients have a high risk of developing clinical lymphoedema.

“This amazing piece of medical equipment can detect a patient’s tissue fluid status and other body tissue analyses in 30 seconds,” Ms Hughes said.

“It helps us to detect and monitor extracellular fluid accumulation at the earliest possible stage, which means earlier intervention for the management of Lymphoedema and better health outcomes for our patients are more likely.

“The device provides an unprecedented level of information and data without the need for invasive procedures.

“We feel so privileged and fortunate to have this amazing device thanks to Hastings Cancer Trust and No One Fights Cancer Alone.”

The device also means the MNCCI will be able to participate in a statewide lymphoedema pilot program across 13 local health districts with the aim of early intervention and prevention of chronic lymphoedema focusing on breast cancer patients.

Hastings Cancer Trust Chairman Dr Stephen Begbie thanked the Trust’s supporters and volunteers who helped make the SOZO’s arrival at MNCCI possible.

“The Hastings Cancer Trust is always excited to bring new technologies and services to the Hastings-Macleay region,” Dr Begbie said.

“It has been a tough year all round, but these are just the sort of good news stories that we work for.

“We hope that everyone could consider involving themselves in some upcoming fundraising activities to help us to fund more projects just like this,” Dr Begbie said.

No One Fights Cancer Alone spokesperson Patricia Knudsen was also delighted to be part of this important project.

“We are a small group of volunteers, so it is amazing to be able to have such an impact on cancer services in our local community,” Ms Knudsen said.

“The residents of Bellevue Gardens are a big part of our fundraising initiatives, so we are very grateful for their ongoing support, which makes donations such as this, in support of local cancer patients, possible.”

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