If you’ve lived with cancer or supported a loved one through treatment, you know how hard it is. Not only the illness itself, but the treatment, too. Cancer care patient Jennie Ireland explains that that’s why receiving care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre was her lifeline. She says it’s thanks to caring people like you that she’s now cancer-free, because PRHC Foundation donors funded the equipment her doctors used to save her life.
“Being able to get my treatment in my community meant less worry and I believe, had a positive impact on my recovery. Without it, I would have had to travel to Toronto, Oshawa or even Kingston, for months on end,” says Jennie. “So, I’m so thankful to donors for all the ways you’ve supported cancer care at our hospital. Your donations really do make a difference. I know I didn’t realize the full extent, though, until I experienced it firsthand.”
There are many more patients like Jennie. With rising patient volumes, especially in cancer care, our region needs the latest technology to help doctors find and treat complex cases faster and more safely, shorten wait times, and save more lives. That’s why supporting investments in essential areas that support cancer care, like interventional radiology, is crucial. And it’s just one of the areas PRHC is investing in to address this demand.
One of the important upgrades needed as part of PRHC’s $6 million investment in minimally invasive interventional radiology is an advanced, portable ultrasound machine. The latest interventional radiology ultrasound systems provide fast, detailed imaging for the most accurate visualization and advanced needle navigational assistance – critical in finding a safe path to the desired area inside the body without puncturing vessels, bowel or other organs.
At PRHC, interventional radiology ultrasound is used during tumour or organ lesion biopsies and in the placement of port-a-caths and PICC lines – which allow for less obvious, longterm access to chemotherapy, with less risk of infection.
Jennie had a PICC line inserted in an interventional radiology procedure at PRHC as part of her cancer treatment. She says she was terrified, but because it was done locally her mom could come with her. She explains what it meant to her:
“After I was diagnosed with an aggressive, fast-growing tumour that had spread to my lymph nodes, my days were filled with scans, surgeries, and rounds of chemo and radiation. I quickly became familiar with every corner of the hospital – even places I’d never heard of like interventional radiology.
“That’s where they put my PICC line in,” she adds. “This was the ‘port’ that was used to deliver my chemotherapy. It stayed in my arm for months, giving me longterm access to treatment, with less risk of infection. I could shower or even swim with it.”
PICC lines and other similar, implantable devices make life a little easier for patients when it really counts. With advanced new interventional radiology ultrasound technology that has improved image quality for vessel analysis, placement of these devices will be even easier for interventional radiologists – and their patients. The new equipment will also help in procedures where placing drains under image guidance is crucial, such as biliary, gallbladder, kidney and abscess tube insertions.
Jennie says, “It’s all this behind-the-scenes, donor-funded care that makes it possible for our hospital to provide lifesaving treatment – right here in Peterborough – under one roof. I can’t tell you what a relief it was that I could focus solely on my health without the added stress of arranging travel, meals, and lodging. My dad drove me to my appointments. My mom cooked dinner on infusion days when I was at my weakest and dealing with chemo side effects. Most importantly, I didn’t have to disrupt my son’s daily routine.”
Care close to home made a difference for Jennie and her family. She became a donor to the PRHC Foundation to help PRHC upgrade their cancer care technology so that more patients like her can get the care they need, where they need it most. You too can help shape the future of patient care at your hospital. To donate in support of this exciting interventional radiology investment or for more information, call 705-876-5000 or click here.