About Radiation Oncology
At Calvary Mater Newcastle, we aim to make your cancer treatment as smooth as possible. You will benefit from no waiting time, no gap payment, access to a range of complementary health services, convenient parking and onsite accommodation.
No waiting time
Generally, there is no waiting time above the normal time required for administration and accurate planning of your treatment. On occasions we may be very busy and there may be a longer wait before starting treatment. If this situation arises, your Radiation Oncologist will discuss your options with you.
There is no gap payment – your treatment is fully covered by Medicare or Veteran Affairs. Your only expenses may be related to travel and accommodation if this is needed. There may also be a cost if you require dietary supplements or additional medications. If you are experiencing any financial hardship please ask to see one of our Social Workers who may be able to help.
Access to all Allied Health services
Allied Health services include Social Work, Nutrition and Dietetics, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Psychology. These services are provided free of charge and are available onsite.
Free, convenient parking
We have a dedicated car park for people who are attending daily Radiation Oncology treatment. There is no charge for this car park. It is conveniently located adjacent to the Department of Radiation Oncology. The car park is on the same level as the department and has reserved spaces for people with a disability.
If you have to travel a long way to have your radiation treatment you may qualify to stay in a room in the ‘Villas’, our onsite accommodation. Due to the high demand for these rooms, they are allocated on a needs basis. The majority of the cost is usually covered by the state government’s Isolated Patient Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS).
Information about your treatment
You will receive information by mail once your first appointment to see a Radiation Oncologist is made. This will usually include Cancer Council brochures and a DVD showing you around our department and answering some of your questions. You will receive further information when you attend your initial appointment in the department. Our staff will explain what to expect during treatment, including any side effects and how to deal with them.
Calvary Mater Newcastle is equipped with the latest technology for the provision of both simple and advanced treatments.
The Department of Radiation Oncology has installed a state of the art MRI Simulator unit – a first in this region. This will enable us to incorporate the superior soft tissue identification in the treatment planning for a wide variety of cancers. Being co-located within the department, this will also cut down travel times for patients. Apart from being used to enhance the current treatment planning, it opens up new areas for research.
One of our treatment units (Varian TrueBeam STx ®) has been designed for stereotactic treatments. It combines powerful imaging with high dose-rate radiation and precision targeting to provide non-invasive radio-surgical treatment options; stereotactic radiotherapy and stereotactic body radiotherapy. Using high doses and precision targeting means treatment may take only a few days to complete instead of weeks.
The department also has a newly installed superficial machine that is used for treating skin cancers, this being one of the first in Australia. The ease of use and its ability to allow a wide range of positions enables better patient comfort and experience.
We are committed to coordinating and participating in clinical trials. Patients who are having Radiation Therapy at Calvary Mater Newcastle might be eligible to participate in one or more clinical trials being conducted onsite. The department runs several studies both locally, nationally and internationally, and was one of the founding members of the Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG), a global leader in radiotherapy research.
For information regarding the type of clinical trials being conducted, please contact:
- Sarah Gallagher, Senior Clinical Research Coordinator
- Telephone: 4014 3949
The department has a strong culture of research, innovation and quality assurance, enabling us to continuously improve treatments and the experiences of patients and their families. Apart from contributing to the advancement of treatments, we are also quick to adopt new treatment regimes for the benefit of our patients.