St Vincent’s Hospital’s Cancer Centre Chemotherapy Day Unit has the auspicious title of being the centre for myeloma treatment in Victoria.
Myeloma is a type of cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow. Myeloma is often called multiple myeloma because most people (90%) have multiple bone lesions at the time it is diagnosed. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell found in the bone marrow.
Around 18,000 people in Australia are living with myeloma at any one time. Unfortunately there is currently no cure, but there are some very promising trials and treatments that help to extend and improve the quality of life for patients.
More than 57,000 patients are treated at St Vincent’s world class Cancer Centre each year. The Cancer Centre Chemotherapy Day Unit provides specialised treatment for up to 28 patients a day, both from the metropolitan and rural areas of Victoria.
Patients with myeloma need to receive ongoing treatment, so many have been coming to the Cancer Centre for years. Registered Nurse Kate Chirnside, said she sees her patients more than she sees her own family. “The patients are all so lovely. I enjoy coming to work because I’m a talker and many of our patients love a chat.”