900+ patients treated at NW Cancer Centre in past two years

Staff mark the second anniversary of the North West Cancer Centre�at Altnagevlin Hospital.
Staff mark the second anniversary of the North West Cancer Centre�at Altnagevlin Hospital.

The North West Cancer Centre in Derry has treated more than 900 patients since it opened two years ago.

Since first opening at the end of November 2016, hundreds of people from across the Western Trust area, parts of the Northern Trust district and from across north Donegal have received their radiotherapy treatment at the Altnagelvin Hospital centre.

The centre is NI’s second facility dedicated to providing cancer treatment and care.

Dr David Stewart, Lead Clinical Oncologist at the centre, says: “The centre is a true example of cross border partnership working and is a success story in the delivery of high quality, safe and effective cancer care for patients from both Northern Ireland and from the Republic of Ireland.

“The team at the North West Cancer Centre works closely with surgical and medical teams at the Trust and Letterkenny University Hospital to provide the best cancer care for patients... To date, patient and relative feedback regarding the centre has been very positive, with many patients speaking about the real benefit of receiving care so close to home.”

Services within the North West Cancer Centre are now fully operational across a number of tumour sites including prostate, breast, lung, bowel, bladder, head and neck and lymphoma. A number of palliative treatments are also being delivered locally, including the recent implementation of offering emergency radiotherapy treatments.

Earlier this year, the centre implemented the latest treatment imaging technology and also uses advanced radiology imaging, particularly MRI, in the planning of radiotherapy treatments.

Collectively, these allow delivery of radiotherapy even more accurately to within millimetres, curing more patients and producing fewer side effects.

In addition to radiotherapy development, the North West Cancer Centre also continues to deliver advanced chemotherapy techniques. The Sperrin Suite, which provides day care treatment for oncology and haematology patients has also treated patients with the newest forms of targeted anti-cancer therapies, including immunotherapy. 

These therapies can be more effective and have less associated side effects than some standard forms of chemotherapy.