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Cancer treatment at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) is taking things to the lounge room with a new Chemotherapy in the Home option for some cancers.
Cornelis Valent from Holland Park West will be the first PA Hospital patient to sit in his favourite chair, put his feet up and have his week of chemotherapy from the comfort of home with the help of Metro South Health community-based Post Acute Care Service.
Nurse Practitioner in Haematology Cancer Services at PAH, Rosita Van Kuilenburg, said the option to have Chemo in the Home was about designing a service that meets the needs of a specific patient group.
“Cornelis is in the criteria of patients who can receive this treatment safely at home,” Rosita said. “He has had 47 cycles of chemo so far without incident so it’s safe to recommend him for treatment at home where he will be more comfortable, his family is there for support, and our community team are able to develop a strong relationship with the family in the home.”
The process of actually delivering chemotherapy in the home depends on having a pre-arranged appointment time so that the PAH Cancer Services Pharmacy can have the chemotherapy drugs ready within an hour. A nurse from the Post Acute Care Service then collects the chemotherapy from PAH to take to his home.
“Being treated in the home saves Cornelis 23 hours in a seven day treatment cycle plus the costs of travel, parking and the necessary coffees to get him though each visit,” she said.
“For our Chemotherapy Day Care treatment facility, this means seven hours of treatment time per week that can be allocated to another cancer patient.”
“While Chemo in the Home is only an option for one of our haematology drugs at the present time, we are investigating more options to be undertaken within the next year,” Rosita said.
Cornelis is excited to be the first patient to receive chemotherapy in the home because, ultimately, it saves time for everyone along the journey.
“This is easier as I don’t have to wait as long and the time of the appointment at home changes less,” he said.
“The nurses organise a time that suits me and they come straight to my home. I’ll miss the nice people in Day Care but I’ll still visit once a month when I come to see the doctor.”