Breast cancer patients in Queensland now have access to a safer form of treatment.

The new technique protects the heart from harmful radiation doses targeting the cancer.

Maximillian Ng reports.


Sue Hewlett was among the first breast cancer patients in Queensland to have the new treatment.

It was performed at the Princess Alexandra hospital, where she used to be a nurse.

Sue Hewlett, Patient: “A little bit uncomfortable, I suppose, having your nose pinched, and having something in your mouth, sometimes up to fifteen minutes or so. But yeaH, you’ll get used to it.”

Margot Lehman, Associate Professor: “We’re using new technology to ensure that ladies are receiving optimal treatment that is doing everything possible to spare their normal tissues from potential effects of radiation.”

Called Deep Inspiration Breath-hold, the new technique allows doctors to have greater control over radiation doses, protecting the heart of patients.

Margot Lehman, Associate Professor: “It’s a good news story as ladies with breast cancer are living longer because they’ve got such good treatments now.”

While the treatment is already used in other parts of Australia, this is the first time it has been used in Queensland.

There are plans to bring this treatment to the rest of the states by 2016.

Delivering comfort in a time of stress.

Maximillian Ng, QUT News.