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MNCCI Coffs Harbour service information

Allied Health

The Oncology Dietitians specialise in helping people living with cancer to make the best food choices before, during and after cancer treatment.

Eating well helps people cope better with any treatment side effects. It can assist the body’s natural defense and immune system and help wounds and damaged tissue heal better.

The dietitian is available to:

  • assess current nutrition status
  • provide tips and ideas to deal with unintended weight loss and assist with weight and muscle gain
  • provide tips and ideas to achieve a healthy weight
  • assist with individualised food plans
  • assist with management of nutrition-related side effects such as loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, and taste changes
  • provide advice on alternative foods and supplements
  • help to make sense of all the advice given by family, friends and the media
  • answer any questions about food and nutrition
  • provide ongoing support and follow-up regarding nutrition.

Further information

Cancer Council’s ‘Nutrition and Cancer’ booklet.

Contact 

MNCCI Coffs Harbour
Phone: 02 6656 5737

Hours

Dietitians are available at MNCCI Coffs Harbour Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 5.00pm.

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from all health care professionals via fax. Patients can also self-refer to the service.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Cost 

There is no cost attached to this service.

The Oncology Occupational Therapist specialises in helping people living with cancer to carry out everyday activities and help you to stay safe and independent at home and in the community .

The occupational therapist supports you when you experience changes in how you are feeling and functioning during your treatment ( such as fatigue, shortness of breath, balance and tiredness).

The particular areas the occupational therapist will consider are showering , dressing, grooming, toileting, feeding, sleeping and walking in your home and community .

The occupational therapist Is available to:

  • assess current functional status in day to day activities by talking to you and your family /carer /supports
  • provide ideas to you about how to manage more safely and independently at home
  • loan equipment to you if required such as a shower stool to keep you safe whilst showering
  • talk with you about ways to conserve energy when you are feeling tired
  • do a home visit or do a visit to the accommodation in which you are staying to provide suggestions on keeping you safe and independent at home
  • discuss with you possible equipment needs e.g. shower stool, toilet frame, pressure cushion
  • explain to you and refer you to specialist services if home modifications are required e.g. grabrails in bathroom, handrail on steps
  • suggest services that may continue to support you in your home
  • discuss personal security alarm if felt to be appropriate .

Contact 

MNCCI Coffs Harbour
Phone: 02 6656 5737

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from all health care professionals via fax. Patients can also self-refer to the service.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Hours

Occupational therapy is available at MNCCI Coffs Harbour every Tuesday and alternate Wednesday: 7:30 to 4:00pm.

Cost

There is no cost attached to this service.

Physiotherapists assist in the treatment of disorders of movement. Problems with movement can be caused by stiffness, weakness, pain or impaired control or coordination. During your treatment for cancer, you may see a physiotherapist:

  • following surgery to ensure movement and strength are regained
  • if you are having problems walking or are unsteady on your feet
  • if you are losing strength or your tolerance for exercise (become deconditioned) or if fatigue is limiting your activities
  • if you are at risk of developing lymphoedema.

Your physiotherapist can provide:

  • specific exercises to improve movement, strength and coordination
  • if required, manual techniques such as joint mobilisation and soft tissue massage
  • the prescription of walking aids to assist with walking and help prevent falls
  • advice on general exercise and the prevention of deconditioning
  • advice on how you can manage lymphoedema and treatment of lymphoedema.

Contact 

MNCCI Coffs Harbour
Phone: 02 6656 5737

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from all health care professionals via fax.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Hours

9:15am to 2:45pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Cost

There is no charge for this service.

The oncology social workers are part of the MNCCI multidisciplinary team and specialise in providing emotional and practical support before, during and after cancer treatment.

Cancer treatment can be a very stressful and challenging time for patients, their families and carers.

Some of the issues affecting people living with cancer include:

  • coping emotionally with adjustment to diagnosis or recurrence
  • coping with treatment side-effects
  • managing stress, depression and anxiety
  • communicating with family, friends and doctors
  • making difficult decisions
  • practical, legal and financial concerns
  • effects of treatment on self-esteem, confidence & lifestyle
  • carer stress
  • sadness, loss and grief
  • survivorship.

Types of support provided:

  • professional support in adapting to serious and chronic illness
  • individual, couple and family counselling
  • family conferences around important decisions
  • stress and anxiety management
  • assistance with practical, financial & legal matters
  • transport and accommodation issues
  • information and referral to community resources.

Contact 

MNCCI Coffs Harbour
Phone: 02 6656 5737

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from all health care professionals via fax. Patients can also self-refer to the service.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Hours

A social worker is available at MNCCI Monday to Friday: 8.30 to 5pm.

Cost

There is no charge for this service.

The oncology speech pathologists specialise in speech, voice and swallowing difficulties.

Speech pathologists provide suggestions on how to eat and drink safely to maintain your fluid and nutritional needs.

The speech pathologist is available to:

  • assess swallowing, speech and voice function
  • provide advice on modifications to food and drink to improve swallow safety
  • assist with management of side effects such as
    • dry mouth
    • excess saliva
    • thick saliva
    • loss of taste
  • provide exercises and therapy to maintain muscle function needed for swallowing, speech and voice
  • help to make sense of all the advice given by family, friends and the media
  • answer any questions about swallowing, speech and voice
  • provide ongoing support and follow-up regarding swallowing, speech and voice.

Contact 

MNCCI Coffs Harbour
Phone: 02 6656 5737

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from all health care professionals via fax. Patients can also self-refer to the service.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Cost

There is no cost attached to this service.

Breast cancer care

The specialist breast care nurse provides information and support to patients diagnosed with breast cancer and their carers along the continuum of care from diagnosis in the community including:

  • care in the acute setting and follow up in the community
  • coordination of assessment clinics in Coffs Harbour for Breastscreen North Coast providing education, counselling and support to women recalled for assessment and subsequent diagnosis of breast cancer
  • responsible for the coordination of the Breast Cancer Connect volunteers – breast cancer survivors who volunteer to provide practical advice and emotional support to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer
  • resource clinician in the area of breast cancer
  • lymphoedema therapist providing education and treatment to people who may develop lymphoedema as a result of breast cancer treatment.

The specialist breast nurse is a member of the Coffs Clarence Breast MultiDisciplinary Team, a team of health and allied health professionals providing a multidisciplinary approach to the care of patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from all health care professionals. Patients can also self-refer to the service.

Monday to Friday 
Phone: 02 6656 5702 or 0438 696 115 (Business hours)
Email: Lee.Millard@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Cancer care coordination

The cancer journey may involve many health professionals in different treatment facilities across widespread locations. Patients and carers often need an experienced clinician to coordinate their care, to help them navigate health services, and to provide a single point of contact for information and support. The role of the cancer care coordinator is designed to help fulfil this need.

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from all health care professionals via fax. Patients can also self-refer to the service.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Cancer Genetics

Risk assessment, screening advice and genetic testing (when appropriate) for individuals with a strong family history of cancer, and/or a personal history of multiple cancers, rare inherited cancers or cancer at a young age.

Please note that genetic testing is provided at no cost to patients who meet our clinical testing criteria, or who have an identified cancer predisposition genetic risk in the family.

For enquiries relating to non-cancer genetic conditions, please refer to the Genetics Counselling Service for information and referral details.

Referrals

A referral from a doctor is needed for this service.

Referrals accepted for individuals with a personal or family history of cancer, see EviQ cancer genetic referral guidelines.

Contact

Phone: 02 6656 5737
Fax: 02 6656 5822

Haematology

We provide a comprehensive range of clinical and laboratory services.

Our clinical service management includes:

  • general haematologic illness (anaemia, ITP, haematologic manifestations of generalised disease and Gauchers’ disease)
  • haematologic malignancies (Hodgkins’ disease, lymphoma, acute and chronic leukaemia and myeloma)
  • disorders of haemostasis and thrombosis (haemophilia, peri-operative assessment, von Willebrand disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism)
  • thrombosis and haemostasis, and bone marrow transplant care coordination. Plasmapheresis services are not yet available and are in a planning stage.

Referrals

Referral to this service is through your General Practitioner or Specialist Medical Consultant.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Head and Neck Service

The Head and Neck Clinic at MNCCI has been established to provide support to patients who have been diagnosed with a cancer in the head and neck region and are commencing radiotherapy. The role of the clinic is to provide you with medical and allied health support before, whilst and after you receive radiotherapy treatment and is for patients who usually have complex needs and symptoms. These appointments are important for you to keep so staff can monitor you closely to help you get through your treatment in the best possible way.

Referrals

Referral to this service is through your general practitioner or specialist medical consultant.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a type of drug treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.  It is different to chemotherapy, which works by killing cancer cells.

Different types of immunotherapy work in different ways.  Some stimulate the immune system so it works better against cancer.  Others remove barriers that stop the immune system attacking the cancer.

Immunotherapy is currently available in Australia for some types of cancer. It has worked well for some people but it does not help everyone.  Your doctor will discuss if this is an option for you.

Lymphoedema therapy

The lymphoedema therapist coordinates the care of patients who develop secondary lymphoedema as a result of their cancer treatments – from early diagnosis to ongoing maintenance therapy for the rest of their lives.

The role also involves monitoring and educating patients who are receiving active treatment about their risk of lymphoedema, its prevention, symptoms and management.

Referrals

Referrals are accepted from all health care professionals via fax. Patients can also self-refer to the service.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Medical oncology

A variety of treatments are offered at the MNCCI including chemotherapy which can be oral or intravenous (inserted into a vein), hormone therapy and immunotherapy.

Your treatment is decided by the medical oncologist who is a doctor who specialises in the study and treatment of cancer following a consultation with you. The medical oncologist works closely with other specialist medical staff, oncology nursing staff and the wider multi-disciplinary team to ensure that your care is individualised for your cancer journey.

These treatments can be provided in the oncology treatment room at MNCCI, supportive care (e.g. blood transfusions) are also provided within the unit. The unit is staffed by specialist Oncology Nurses and operated Monday to Friday: 08.30 to 5.30 p.m.

Contact 

MNCCI Coffs Harbour
Phone: 02 6656 5737.

Referrals

Referral to this service is through your general practitioner or specialist medical consultant.

To make a referral to services provided by MNCCI Coffs Harbour please fax your referral to: 02 6656 5855.

Medial Physics

Our Radiation Oncology Medical Physics team are specialists responsible for commissioning of linear accelerators (machines to deliver radiotherapy) , monitoring of equipment and procedures, monitoring of safety and protection of patients and staff involved in delivering radiation treatment to best practice standards.

Our radiation oncology medical physicists are most typically involved with the safe operation and quality of systems used for imaging and treatment of patients. This includes our linear accelerators, CT scanners, superficial X-ray machines and treatment planning computer systems. Radiation oncology medical physicists are also largely responsible for the safe implementation of new treatment techniques such as four dimensional (4D) CT imaging and image guided radiation therapy.

Radiation oncology medical physicists work closely with IT and engineering staff to ensure all the radiotherapy equipment and computers are working correctly and linked together correctly.

Our medical physicists consult with the radiation oncologists and radiation therapists and provide advice as to the best use of medical radiation and make sure that all equipment meets international and national standards so that the radiation dose recommended by the radiation oncologist and planned by the radiation therapist can be delivered to the patient correctly.

Radiation is prescribed by the radiation oncologist. A multi disciplinary team is involved in the delivery and quality assurance of the treatment including radiation therapists, medical physics, nurses and allied health staff.

Pharmacy

Haematology/oncology pharmacists have a vital role in the health care team.

Pharmacists possess specialised knowledge about medications and how they work to fight cancer. They work with the medical and nursing staff to maximise the benefits of drug therapy while trying to minimise toxicities.

Haematology/oncology pharmacists work with the health care team to educate patients about what to expect during treatment and ensure that each medication is given at the right time and dosed correctly. Finally, haematology/oncology pharmacists work closely with a patient’s oncologist/haematologist in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact 

MNCCI Coffs Harbour
Phone: 02 6656 5737.

Radiation Oncology/Therapy

Radiation is prescribed by the radiation oncologist. A multi disciplinary team is involved in the delivery and quality assurance of the treatment including radiation therapists, medical physics, nurses and allied health staff.

At the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute (MNCCI) we offer a comprehensive range of radiation therapy treatment and image techniques. Along with conventional techniques such as 3-Dimension Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT) and Superficial Radiotherapy, we also offer a range of modern techniques that include Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).

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