New 'Tattoo free' radiation therapy for Italian breast cancer patients

Italian breast cancer patients will no longer require permanent tattoo markers during radiation therapy.

Traditionally, breast cancer patients received permanent tattoo marks during radiation therapy to ensure treatment was delivered to a precise location. Thanks to recent advancements in Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) technology, online corrections to patient position can be easily achieved, eliminating the need for permanent marks on patients’ skin.

Dr Miriam Boxer, GenesisCare Concord Radiation Oncologist, said: 'For many women with breast cancer, permanent ink marks can serve as an unwanted reminder of their cancer diagnosis or treatment. We are incredibly proud to be introducing tattoo-free radiation therapy at our centre in Concord which will eliminate the added emotional impact of having permanent tattoos. In replacement of traditional tattoo markers, we are using a new technique which is much more patient friendly, and at the same time allows for highly precise daily treatment.'

'We are also delighted to announce the availability of a new comprehensive breast cancer package, with patients now being able to access radiation therapy and allied health services such as psychology all under the one roof. As part of the package, suitable patients will also be seen by a Cardio-Oncologist, a special type of cardiologist who sees cancer patients to manage cardiac risk factors and side effects associated with certain cancer therapies.'

Allison Johnson, GenesisCare Concord Centre Leader, added: 'At GenesisCare we are committed to delivering the highest quality of breast cancer care for our patients which is why we decided to introduce the tattoo-free treatment option and our comprehensive breast cancer package. Many of the women we see here at Concord have already undergone surgery and chemotherapy so by the time they reach us they are physically and emotionally exhausted. We want to help alleviate any anxiety that may have around permanent tattoos so they can focus entirely on their treatment and getting home to their loved ones.'

The GenesisCare Concord centre opened in October 2019 and is equipped to deliver up to 16,200 radiation therapy and medical oncology treatments for up to 1,100 cancer patients annually. 20% of their patients are Italians or Italian descent.

The treatment option is also available at the GenesisCare nine centres across Melbourne and Victoria.

The City of Canada Bay Local Government Area was identified as one of the state’s three priority areas for a new service, based on the NSW Government’s review of Cancer Institute NSW’s projected cancer rates in the region. The centre was developed to help meet increasing needs, with cancer rates in the area expected to rise by 2-3 per cent each year.