Cancer care centre ready for an increase in services

Danielle RaffaeleNorth West Telegraph
Well Womens chief executive Rebekah Lee welcomes all returning members and newcomers
Camera IconWell Womens chief executive Rebekah Lee welcomes all returning members and newcomers

The leader of a State cancer support network says the Pilbara should brace for a jump in demand for its services with interruptions to diagnoses during the height of the pandemic last year.

Solaris Cancer Care chief executive Francis Lynch said people who delayed vital medical check-ups last year could result in potentially late cancer diagnoses.

It is estimated 7000 cancer cases went undiagnosed nationally as a result of the pandemic last year.

Mr Lynch said this would have an impact on patients, particularly those in the regions.

“We expect that over the next year demand for our services will skyrocket as people go back for their medical check-ups and find cancer is present,” Mr Lynch said.

“When the first COVID-19 lockdown hit last year, it took us just 48 hours to move all our services online — and we had a dramatic increase in online and phone demand.

“This shows the desperate need for our services.”

In 2020, the organisation joined forces with Port Hedland’s Hedland Well Women’s Centre to develop the Solaris Pilbara Outreach Program.

The program aims to give the region’s cancer patients access to a specialist cancer support nurse, counsellor and other lifelines at no cost.

HWWC’s chief executive Rebekah Worthington said programs like Solaris would help extend much-needed support.

“It will mean that all cancer patients in the Pilbara will have access to some of the services that until now have only been available in metropolitan Perth,” she said.

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