New cancer centre for Cork

Advanced radiotherapy on offer for first time
  • Deborah Condon

A new cancer centre has opened in Cork, offering patients the most technologically advanced radiotherapy services in the south of Ireland.

As part of a €77million expansion, Bon Secours Cork has opened the Cork Cancer Centre, which is available to patients in Cork and the rest of Munster.

The centre will provide integrated care, with medical, surgical and radiotherapy services all under one roof. It includes 81 private rooms, four additional operating theatres, a new 23-bed day infusion ward and a new critical care unit.

According to the manager of the Bon Secours Hospital Cork, the new centre is a "one-stop shop for all critical cancer services". Patients will have access to rapid screening, timely diagnosis and advanced treatment.

The new radiotherapy service available at the centre will be provided to patients as part of a joint venture between Bon Secours and the UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre, one of the largest cancer treatment networks in the US. This new service is being led by consultant radiation oncologist, Dr Paul Kelly.

"It's a real honour for me as a radiation oncologist to offer state-of-the-art radiotherapy, including stereotactic technology, to patients in the region for the first time. Providing access to care in a timely manner with the support of the world-leading experience and quality assurance of UPMC is a very exciting opportunity," Dr Kelly said.

Stereotactic radiotherapy is a non-surgical form of radiation therapy that uses concentrated radiation beams in high doses to destroy tumours in hard-to-reach areas of the body, while minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissues. This lowers the risk of side-effects.

However, this type of treatment is not available at all hospitals because it needs specialist equipment and skills. Until now, it has not been available in Munster. Patients in the region in need of advanced radiotherapy services would previously have had to travel to Dublin.

Meanwhile, the new centre also features a state-of-the-art oncology department and an onsite pharmacy compounding unit, which allows for the preparation of specifically tailored chemotherapy for individual patients.

"Our new state-of-the-art Bon Secours Cork Cancer Centre offers best-practice, technologically-advanced radiotherapy services, which were previously unavailable to patients in the region.

"Complementing our established medical and surgical oncology services, this development greatly enhances our capacity to provide a world-class cancer service to patients in need of advanced medicine in this area," commented Bill Maher, group CEO of the Bon Secours Health System.

The centre is already caring for its first patients.


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