Increasing GP confidence in radiation therapy

Increasing GP confidence in radiation therapy

10 July, 2019

Radiation therapy is a highly targeted and highly effective cancer treatment. It contributes to 40% of all cancer cures world-wide; as well as relieving symptoms such as pain or bleeding.1

GPs can access the following pathways on radiation oncology:

·       Bone Pain Flare Following Radiation Therapy

·       Radiation Therapy

·       Skin Reactions during Radiation Therapy

·       Spinal Cord Compression

·       Radiation Oncology Referral

According to Dr Keen Hun Tai Deputy Director Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, "Many clinicians have limited experience in this important treatment modality. As such the resources provided in the HealthPathways Melbourne would assist GPs in providing advice and guidance to their patients in everyday practice.”

Radiation Oncology Staff Specialist at St George Hospital Cancer Care Center, Dr Gina Hesselberg worked on the Targeting Cancer Campaign aimed at promoting awareness and access to radiation therapy. Gina approached the HealthPathways Melbourne team to become involved in the Oncology work.

Dr Hesselberg commented, "Knowing when and how to refer to Radiation Oncologists may not always be straightforward. Equally management of acute and chronic radiation related side effects can be challenging for GPs. The aim of HealthPathways is to ease this process to ensure all patients have access to Radiation Oncologists when required- in fact, approximately 50% of patients with cancer should see a Radiation Oncologist at some point in their treatment course. HealthPathways may also assist GPs in feeling confident to manage the common side effects following radiation therapy."

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of our clinical working group members, especially for Dr Keen Hun Ta and Dr Gina Hesselberg, for sharing their expertise and helping us develop the radiation oncology pathways. Click here to see a full list of health professionals involved in the Oncology work.

Dr Keen Hun Tai is also on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council, and the Chair of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Research Committee, RANZCR