cancer treatment

Fatal cancer situation

The National Cancer Services at the ANGAU Memorial Provincial Hospital, in Lae, has been without the isotope, cobalt-60, to use in radiation therapy for cancer treatment.

This has been the situation for 15 years.

The Acting Director of curative health services with the Morobe Provincial Health Authority, Dr Steven James, emphasised that a multi-disciplinary approach is required to treat cancer.

First cancer 'living drug' gets go-ahead

The regulator - the US Food and Drug Administration - said its decision was a "historic" moment and medicine was now "entering a new frontier".

The company Novartis is charging $475,000 (£367,000) for the "living drug" therapy, which leaves 83% of people free of a type of blood cancer.

Doctors in the UK said the announcement was an exciting step forward.

The living drug is tailor-made to each patient, unlike conventional therapies such as surgery or chemotherapy.

It is called CAR-T and is made by extracting white blood cells from the patient's blood.

Child cancer initiatives seeing results in Pacific

Jane Skeen says she is passionate about getting better staff training and treatment to children in countries such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

Dr Skeen said greater collaboration had seen an improvement in recovery rates, saying that about 50 children are now getting treatment in Fiji every year.

And colleagues at Auckland and Christchurch hospitals are also able to assist some children from the Pacific who travel for chemotherapy.

Two oncologists to be recruited for Lae Cancer Unit

“One for radiation treatment and another to work with other treatment options for cancer, such as advanced chemotherapy, surgery, and a new radiotherapy treatment called Linear Accelerator that will modernise the radiation treatment for cancer. This will provide better quality of life for cancer patients,” Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Michael Malabag said.  

“We have a new Brachytherapy service underway, and a volunteer specialist from Australia will be training our young specialists in new cancer treatments that will help particularly, women with cervical cancer.”

Mother charged with injecting feces to son's IV during cancer treatment

According to Marion Superior Court documents, Tiffany Alberts, 41, of Wolcott, Indiana, used a syringe to inject feces into her son's IV on several occasions between November 13th and 17th, knowingly placing him "in a situation that endangered the dependent's life or health."

The mother claimed her actions were meant to get her son moved from the ICU to another Riley unit, where she believed "the treatment was better."

Juffa calls on Health Minister to explain Dr Niblett’s situation

Dr Niblett has served as Chief Radiation Oncologist for more than 20 years in the only Radiotherapy Unit in PNG based at Lae.

Juffa said that Niblett has made a huge contribution to cancer treatment in the country over many years and doesn’t deserve to be treated like this.

Niblett was in PNG from 1973 to 1987 and he returned in 2007.

The National Department of Health has now instructed Niblett that his contract will not be renewed and Immigration has told him that he must leave PNG by May 20.

Cancer Treatment Centre needs K10million

The Centre has so far treated over 5000 people with cervix, breast and mouth cancer.

The facility is headed by Papua New Guinea’s only radiation oncologist, Dr John Niblett.

He says it is frustrating when requests and submissions fall on deaf ears.

The treatment Centre has 36 beds in two wards that need immediate attention as they continue to rot away.

Niblett says he needs more staff and require other equipments.

Despite the frustration and disappointment Cancer specialists continue to perform their duties by treating over 30 patients a day.

Niblett: Cobalt machine needs help

The cobalt source has to be procured every 4 years however the facility is still using the source from 7 years ago.

Head of Cancer Unit Oncologist, Dr John Niblett says the cobalt source inside the machine is getting weak.

He says they started using the machine in 2009 and in 2012 they requested funding from the government through health department and are yet to receive any positive response.

Niblett says the department is still looking for funds.

This means the number of patients they treat every day will decrease.