Shenton House home to breast cancer surgeons

Surgeons Corinne Jones and Simon Weight. Picture: Martin Kennealey d459668
Surgeons Corinne Jones and Simon Weight. Picture: Martin Kennealey d459668

JOONDALUP’S Shenton House now has two breast cancer surgeons consulting in it.

Simon Weight recently opened a consultancy in the Shenton Road building, while Corinne Jones joined Genesis CancerCare.

Having practised in Joondalup for 13 of his 17 years as a surgeon, Dr Weight is a specialist breast and thyroid surgeon who treats about 100 breast cancer patients a year.

He said moving to Shenton House meant his patients had access to the radiology services downstairs and oncologists upstairs.

Normally based in Subiaco, Dr Jones consults out of Shenton House part-time, where she can run tests on patients and determine what treatment they need.

“There’s a lot of patients we could see closer to home – I come up to Joondalup because it’s easier for them,” she said.

Dr Jones said while she still did surgeries at St John of God Hospital in Subiaco, that required patients to travel there once.

She said for the multiple visits required to get chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, Joondalup was closer for many patients.

“If they need chemo, they can have it here instead of having to travel all the way to Subiaco which is what they used to have to do,” she said.

Since it opened in 2013, Shenton House has offered an expanding range of services, particularly for cancer patients.

Genesis CancerCare has three radiation oncologists and two medical oncologists providing chemotherapy.

The building also houses Perth Urology Clinic, Perth Radiological Clinic, Western Diagnostic Pathology and ECU Exercise Medicine Research Institute, which provides exercise programs that research and benefit cancer patients.


Dr. Evan Ng and Clinical Professor Nigel Spry. Picture: Bruce Hunt d461941

Deep Inspiration Breath Hold treatment option introduced in Joondalup

PATIENTS undergoing radiation therapy for left-sided breast cancer now have access to a technique that reduces the risk of incidental cardiac irradiation.

In patients with left-sided breast cancer, modern radiation therapy has the potential to cause latent cardiac damage because the radiation beam that kills cancer cells may come in contact with the heart.

While radiation oncologists use various methods to minimise this already low risk, another technique – Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) – is now available at Genesis CancerCare in Joondalup.

DIBH requires patients to hold their breath for between 20-30 seconds several times during their daily radiation session to increase the distance between the heart and the left breast.

When the natural space between the heart and the breast is at its greatest, treatment is delivered, reducing the heart’s exposure to radiation.

“DIBH treatment provides a significant clinical advance, but it also offers psychological benefits,” radiation oncologist Yvonne Zissiadis said.

“The proximity of the heart and its vessels to the intended radiation can cause concern.

“The knowledge that this risk is significantly reduced or removed can help relieve the anxiety that some patients experience.”

Radiation oncologist Margaret Latham said for the small minority of patients who cannot hold their breath, other techniques to minimise the risk of radiation exposure to the heart can be used.

“With modern radiation therapy techniques, the risk of cardiac damage to the heart following treatment is already very low,” she said.

“With DIBH, we can potentially reduce the risk even further.”