The majority of Beacon Hospital’s Medical Oncology treatment takes place in our state-of-the-art Oncology Day Unit (ODU).
The ODU was purpose built with the needs of our patients in mind. The 21-station unit is well spaced and each station has a comfortable electric reclining chair which offers optimum comfort to patients. Curtains can be left back or pulled around should patients feel more comfortable with additional privacy.
The unit has three isolation cubicles for those requiring their treatment in isolation.
Patients are offered lunch or snacks and tea/coffee during their treatment.
Our expert nurses carefully monitor patients for the entirety of their treatment. Our Consultants and Oncology Registrars are on site to ensure any medical needs arising can be tended to swiftly.
Should patients from the ODU require inpatient care, the team in the ODU will be able to organise a seamless transfer of care. Medical Oncology patients have a direct access arrangement to inpatient care in Beacon Hospital which eliminates the need for trips to the Emergency Department and the associated inconveniences.
Our Medical Oncology Team are here to care for you and assist you through this journey and we ask that you please let us know if there is anything that we can do for you.
Systemic Anti-Cancer Treatment (SACT):
Treatment for cancer has changed dramatically in the past number of years. Where once there was only a very limited number of treatments, patients now have access to an array of options depending on their specific cancer.
These Include; Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Targeted Treatments and Antibody treatments to name but a few.
Antibody Therapies may be used to treat certain forms of cancer. Monoclonal Antibody therapy involves monoclonal antibodies being produced in a laboratory. These monoclonal antibodies serve as substitute antibodies which can help to enhance, mimic or restore the immune systems attack on cancer cells. There are many types of monoclonal antibody therapies.
If your consultant feels that this is a treatment which may be suited to your cancer, they will discuss this option in detail with you.
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body. Chemotherapy is most often used to treat cancer since cancer cells grow and multiply much more quickly than most cells in the body.
There are many different chemotherapy drugs available. They can be used alone or in various combinations to treat many types of cancers.
Beacon Hospital’s in-house pharmacy and specialist pharmacists mix custom chemotherapy combinations in-house ensure that all treatments are highly targeted to the needs of the individual patient.
Immunotherapy is a treatment which helps your immune system to work better to fight cancer cells. Your immune system is what helps your body to fight disease, it is made up of white blood cells, organs and tissues in the lymphatic system.
Immunotherapy is a form of biological therapy. This means that it uses substances made from living organisms to fight cancers.
Different Immunotherapies work in different ways. Some assist the immune system with launching an attack directly on the cancer cells while others boost the immune system in a more general way.
Immunotherapy is not yet used as widely as chemotherapy, radiation oncology or the surgical removal of cancers. Your Consultant will discuss immunotherapy with you if it may be a viable option for treatment of your specific cancer.
Targeted drug therapies target specific parts of cancer cells which are different to normal cells within the body. By doing this, they can help to stop cancer from spreading, slow its growth or even destroy the cells. Targeted therapies are often used for treatment of cancer s such as melanoma and chronic myeloid leukaemia.
There are many types of Targeted Therapies including the four main types; Monoclonal Antibodies, Cancer Growth Inhibitors, Angiogenesis Inhibitors and PARP Inhibitors. Each of these targeted therapies has specifics which it can be used to treat. Different targeted therapies work in very different ways. For example, some block or turn off signals telling the cancer cell to grow and divide. Others change proteins in the cancer cell causing it to die. Some targeted therapies carry toxins to the cancer cells directly to kill them while some stop the production of new blood vessels to feed the cancer cell or act as a vessel to assist chemotherapy getting directly to cancel cells.
If targeted therapy is an option for treatment of your particular cancer, your consultant will discuss this with you in detail.