LOCALS will soon have more access to breast screening and breast cancer care close to home after Hawkesbury District Health Service (HDHS) Breast Surgeon Dr Shadi Faraj was appointed as a surgeon with BreastScreen NSW.
This means patients who need surgery after being reviewed by BreastScreen NSW can for the first time have their breast surgery at HDHS.
An agreement has also been made for a McGrath Breast Care Nurse to be available each time Mr Faraj sees a breast cancer patient (both pre- and post-op) at his rooms in Windsor.
Dr Faraj said his new role would mean patients did not have to travel to get the care they needed: “Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be a shock for patients who are then often scared and anxious about what this means for them,” he said.
“Being able to access surgery and treatment at a hospital that is close to home, their family and support network can help reduce that anxiety.
“This position will also enable patients to have access to a better continuum of care as patients are able to be treated by the same care team from screening to diagnosis, to treatment and through to recovery.
“Multidisciplinary care from leading specialists including a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and a pathologist will also provide input so patients receive the best possible outcome.”
HDHS Chief Executive Officer Strephon Billinghurst said this new service would provide local residents more choice when accessing care.
“We have offered breast cancer surgery at Hawkesbury District Health Service for the past two years and we are really pleased to be able to expand access to care for our local community,” Mr Billinghurst said.
“Patients who come to Hawkesbury District Health Service for breast cancer treatment will have the latest surgical technology and experienced caregivers whose expertise and understanding ensure patients get the care and support they need before, during and after surgery.”
A BreastScreen NSW screening mobile van at HDHS provides free mammogram screenings for women aged 50 to 74 every two years. Screening enables breast cancers to be picked-up in their earliest stages when they are most amenable to treatment, potentially avoiding more aggressive treatments such as mastectomy and chemotherapy.
When a woman is diagnosed with a cancer or other condition requiring breast surgery, following consultation with their GP, they can then choose to have surgery and ongoing care locally at Hawkesbury Hospital.
There are several other screening locations in Western Sydney. Call 13 20 50 to make an appointment.