By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen
Dr Chan Wee Han has been in his element since the opening of the Wolfgang Cancer Centre in Fatimah Hospital. Oncologist Dr Chan says, “It’s been over four months since the official opening of Wolfgang Cancer Centre and almost two years since I first started providing cancer treatment in Fatimah Hospital. Thankfully, all our facilities and services are up and running smoothly.”
“Our new building which houses the Elekta Synergy Linear Accelerator with 160 Leaf Multi Leaf Collimator (Agility), has been treating patients with Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) since March this year. Used mostly in complex Head and Neck cancers, this state of the art radiation therapy delivers precise radiation in 360 degree arcs around the patient. It is also used in Prostate, Rectal, Gynaecological and Brain cancers as well.
Moreover, since April this year, we have been treating gynaecological cancers such as Cancer of Cervix and Uterus with 3-Dimensional Conformal Brachytherapy. Since then, local patients with gynaecological cancers no longer need to travel out of Perak for their treatment.
“With the backing of a strong team of medical physicists and therapeutic radiographers, our radiotherapy services has seen steady growth. We make sure every patient goes through a patient education session with regards to their treatment procedures and care prior to starting treatment. Caregivers too are welcomed into these sessions.”
Its not just the equipment that is impressive. The new Wolfgang Cancer Centre also houses a Chemotherapy Daycare Centre which has a waiting lounge for family members and a counselling room. Patients spend between 30 minutes up till 8 hours in leather recliner sofas or beds while having their chemotherapy infusions. Understanding the frustrations of such long hours and stress, warm meals and drinks are provided but patients can also opt to bring their own food. Astro TV channels are provided for both patients and their waiting family.
It is here that patients and families have the most interaction among themselves and the nursing staff.
“In fact, our trained oncology nurses often carry out patient education, counselling or simply providing support to alleviate their fears and anxieties. Patients are usually from a diverse group of cancers ranging from Breast, Colorectal, Lung or Gynaecological cancers to rarer types such as Melanomas or Sarcomas,” added Dr Chan.
Recently, the centre organized a “Look Good, Feel Good” session for cancer patients which provided them with guidance on makeup, wigs and breast prostheses. Some are cancer survivors which Dr Chan hopes can also help share their experiences with the newer patients. “In fact, many came with food making it a “Potluck” event. It was a good experience and we hope to be able to have more of these events in the future,” enthused Dr Chan.
Knowing the importance of nutritional support, the centre has also arranged for an audio-visual presentation from one of the leading nutritional companies last month. This helped both their patients and staff to better understand the benefits and preparation of their products. There are also patients who are referred to the hospital’s dietician for dietary advice.
Contact Hospital Fatimah at 05 545 5777 or visit: www.fatimah.com.my.