Goldfields breast cancer support increased

  • WA Country Health Service digitally enabled service expands to Kalgoorlie
  • Goldfields breast cancer patients with lymphoedema to receive specialist support closer to home 
  • The collaborative WA Country Health Service (WACHS) and Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) TeleLymphoedema service has expanded to Kalgoorlie Health Campus to further support local treatment for breast cancer-related lymphoedema.

    Lymphoedema is a common and lifelong side effect of some cancer treatments causing swelling and pain in the limbs, requiring ongoing management.

    Expansion of the trial service to Kalgoorlie Health Campus will enable Goldfields locals to receive local lymphoedema support from a WACHS physiotherapist or occupational therapist, with a FSH specialist providing supervision and education via telehealth.

    The TeleLymphoedema service launched as a pilot in 2019 at Katanning and Esperance health campuses, and has been successful in reducing patients’ need to travel for care.

    Results of the new Kalgoorlie Health Campus service will be used to inform expansion to other WA Country Health Service hospitals.

    As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:

    “Around 20 per cent of patients treated for common cancers, such as breast cancer, will be impacted for life by lymphoedema, making expansion of the TeleLymphoedema service so beneficial for country communities.

    “Cancer patients and their families have enough to manage without the extra burden of travel for lymphoedema treatment, which is why this Government is pleased the innovative service is being implemented in more regional locations. 

    “Patients receiving lymphoedema care via telehealth at Katanning and Esperance health campuses have had to travel less and have said they are very satisfied with the service.

    “The McGowan Government expects the same result will be achieved at Kalgoorlie Health Campus and commends the WA Country Health Service for their ongoing work in harnessing technology for a more equitable health system.”

    As stated by Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn:

    “Using telehealth to bring lymphoedema services to patients in Kalgoorlie is fantastic.

    “Many cancer patients go on to develop lymphoedema – which results in uncomfortable and painful swelling in their arms and legs – so being able to access treatment locally to help reduce the swelling without having to go to Perth is a great outcome.

    “Everyone involved in delivering this initiative to Kal deserves a pat on the back.”

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