There’s been a 70% increase in the number of new cancer patients in the South East since 2010.
That’s according to the first South East Cancer Services Annual Report.
It shows that of the 17,583 oncology patients treated in day wards last year 1,248 were new patients.
University Hospital Waterford is one of the eight designated cancer centres with satellite services provided to and in Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary. Radiation oncology services provided by UPMC Radiation Oncology Centre in Whitfield Clinic. The services provided within the cancer centre range from diagnostics and staging to therapy with surgery, medical and radiation oncology surveillance of patients post diagnosis and the provision of palliative care services.
Miriam O’Connor is Consultant Medical Oncologist at UHW. She told WLR News that “we know in the hospitals how busy we are, how many people we see. We felt that it was time that we produced a report, accessible by the public and for our own use, in terms of building the case for additional resources here in the South East.”
“I work in the Oncology Department – people would identify that with chemotherapy – in that unit we’ve had a 70% increase in the number of people being treated in our day wards since 2010. Many of those are new people to our services, many of them are living with cancer and having new treatments. 70% increase in eight years is considerable.”
Dr O’Connor says they would like to be able to cope with the demand faster. “It’s often not fast enough for what patients would like. But, we do it in the safest possible way.”
She described the new Dunmore Wing at University Hospital Waterford as exciting. “That’s going to bring a lot of opportunities for the whole hospital and for people in the South East. We will be able to extend our services within the oncology unit, the chemotherapy unit and there will be additional benefits for patients from other aspects of the hospital. ”
Dr O’Connor says the increase in instances of cancer is mainly down to age. “Everybody is familiar with smoking, drinking to excess, excessive weight being risk factors but even if we took away all of those preventative factors we would still be left with a considerable burden of cancer. As we get older it’s a disease that does happen within the body. As we get better at preventing other diseases and controlling diseases like diabetes and heart disease people are living longer.
“The developments in the hospital and this document establishes what we do, and it’s there for all to see – the good service we provide, the complexity we provide and the need for the expansion of the service to cope with the numbers we’re seeing.”
Some highlights from the 2017 South East Cancer Services Annual Report include:
- Breast Care highlights:
- 6333 patients seen in out-patients
- 4082 were new referrals
- 194 new diagnoses of breast cancer
- Dermatology Highlights:
- >9000 patients seen in clinics
- 4172 new referrals
- 206 new cases of melanoma (80% early stage)
- Gynaecology Highlights:
- 972 women have undergone a cancer related procedures
- 219 women have been referred for primary chemo-radiation or neoadjuvant chemotherapy
- Early stage Uterine Cancer: 5 year survival figure: 92% (higher than the national average).
- Haematology & Oncology Highlights:
- 14,955 patients seen in clinics
- 17,583 patients treated in our dedicated day wards
- 1248 new Oncology patients (70% increase from 2010)
Photo: John Power. Pictured from left to right – Ms. Angela Carey, Business Support to the South East Cancer Services Governance Group; Dr Susan Foley, Respiratory Consultant, UHW; Ms Orla Kavanagh, Interim Director of Nursing, UHW; Ms. Alice Medjaou, Interim General Manager, UHW; Dr Carmel Ann Daly, Consultant Radiologist, UHW; Mr. Michael Fetterolf, Manager, Oncology Operations and Rehabilitation Services, UPMC Whitfield; Dr Miriam O’Connor, Consultant Oncologist UHW and Chairperson of the South East Cancer Services Governance Group; Cllr Pat Fitzgerald, Councillor Waterford City; Dr. Michael O’Connell, Consultant Dermatologist, UHW.