Cancer centre hailed for ‘world-class care’

  • Celebrating anniversary: Radiation therapy unit was opened a year ago (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Celebrating anniversary: Radiation therapy unit was opened a year ago (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A partnership between a Bermuda charity and a US hospital group has delivered “cutting- edge” cancer treatment, a visiting expert said yesterday.

Mark Davis, executive director of strategic initiatives and business development at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Centre, said that the treatment provided by Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre in partnership with his organisation represented the “shining example” of what was possible.

Dr Davis said: “We have been able to provide truly cutting-edge care to people — people that would never have gotten it before, or people who might have gotten it but would have to spend a month or two away from their family and friends.”

Dr Davis was speaking at a press event to mark the first anniversary of the radiation therapy unit at BCHC.

Chris Fosker, radiation oncologist at BCHC, said the provision of radiation treatment on-island had been “hugely positive” for the care of people with cancer.

Dr Fosker said: “It’s been an incredible team effort, and everyone who’s been involved has made a difference.”

A memorandum of understanding between the two organisations was signed in 2015.

Dr Fosker said that the collaboration between BCHC and DFBWCC delivered “world-class care”.

He added: “Every single patient here has had personalised, world-leading radiation care.”

Dr Fosker said the collaboration between BCHC and DFBWCC had sparked interest around the world, including the US, Canada, Australia and the Caribbean.

Mr Davis said that any of the staff at DFBWCC, which provides cancer treatment at its 12 centres, would feel “absolutely comfortable” having family members treated at BCHC.

He explained: “This is the cutting-edge level of care that we would all expect and hope for anybody in need.”

Mr Davis added: “I point to this as the way that it should and could be done.”

David Kozono, radiation oncologist at DFBWCC, said that he had treated a number of Bermuda residents for lung cancer in Boston before the radiation unit at BCHC opened.

Dr Kozono added: “It’s clear looking at their eyes and talking with them how painful it is to be separated from family, friends and other loved ones for the six to seven weeks it takes to treat typical lung cancer.

“Being able to care for people right here in their neighbourhood and in the company of people they know cannot be overstated.”

A total of 130 patients have been treated at the radiation clinic free of charge.

Treatment costs are covered by fundraising efforts, including the annual Relay for Life event which is to be held tonight and tomorrow.

Judy White, president of the board of directors at BCHC, said that more than $2 million had been raised by the event over the past four years.

Ms White added: “We urge Bermuda to continue to support these events as the money raised allows us to provide universal healthcare. No one will be turned away because they cannot afford to pay.”

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Published May 18, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated May 17, 2018 at 10:26 pm)

Cancer centre hailed for ‘world-class care’

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