Chermside Day Hospital has partnered with GenesisCare to offer a compassionate rectal spacer program to prostate radiation therapy patients without private health insurance.
For patients receiving prostate cancer radiation therapy, a spacer can be used to separate the prostate from the rectum.
Evidence shows that these patients have reduced rectal toxicity and better quality of life outcomes both during and after treatment.
Currently, spacing procedures and rectal spacer products are generally covered for privately insured patients, however the cost for uninsured patients is prohibitive, posing a financial barrier for uninsured patients to access this important procedure.
This compassionate program will make it possible for uninsured patients to have the rectal spacer procedure performed at Chermside Day Hospital, with no out-of-pocket hospital costs, followed by a radiation therapy treatment package at GenesisCare.
Ian Jones, CEO/Director of Nursing at Chermside Day Hospital, highlighted the importance of this treatment option for all patients, regardless of their insurance status.
“Every patient deserves the best possible support and care when undergoing radiation therapy treatment, regardless of their financial situation, “ Mr Jones said.
“We are thrilled to partner with GenesisCare to ensure that all patients undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer have access to rectal spacers, as they can significantly improve their quality of life during treatment.”
The first patient utlising the program underwent the procedure at Chermside Day Hospital this month under the care of Urologist, Dr Jamie Reynolds.
The rectal spacer procedure involves the use of a hyaluronic acid spacing agent called Barrigel®.
Barrigel is injected through a needle into the space between the prostate and the rectum to temporarily separate the two organs.
This temporary space pushes the rectum away from the prostate, which reduced to radiation dose to the anterior part of the rectum. As a result, rectal dose and toxicity is reduced.
As Barrigel is a soft gel, patients will commonly not feel any different after the procedure and can go about their normal daily activities.
Barrigel remains stable for 9 months before slowly breaking down and clearing from the body over time.
GenesisCare and Chermside Day Hospital are proud to be part of a program that provides a service that improves access and reduces treatment effects for men with prostate cancer.
Chermside Day Hospital is one of Brisbane’s premier day surgical and procedural facilities, specialising in Gastroenterology, Urology, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Maxillofacial, Anaesthesia and Pain Management.