More extensive cancer treatment services have inched closer to Mahurangi following the introduction of Herceptin infusion treatment at North Shore Hospital.
Herceptin is used to slow and potentially stop the spread of breast cancer.
The first person to benefit from the new service was mother-of-two Michelle Jackson of Snells Beach.
Formerly Michelle was obliged to travel to Auckland Hospital every three weeks for the treatment.
“That’s about a 140km-round trip and a long day for anyone, let alone someone going through what I was going through,” she said.
The opportunity to have the infusions at North Shore sliced about 30 minutes off her travelling time and made parking much easier.
A statement from the Waitemata District Health Board said the North Shore service was part of an ongoing drive by the board to meet the needs of a fast-growing population, deliver better patient outcomes and enhance patient experience.
Board spokesperson Haimona Gray was asked if the board had considered funding the service even closer to Mahurangi through the Rodney Surgical Centre (RSC), which is based in Warkworth.
He said the option of running the service from a private facility had not been considered, but the suggestion had piqued the interest of the board’s planning and funding team, and is something that might be considered in the future.
Rodney Surgical Centre manager Marianne Davidson-Beker said Herceptin was definitely something
RSC could offer and the centre was currently in talks with a private provider to do so.
“We are definitely open to talking to the WDHB about it as well. It would save a lot of people a lot of travel, and we have got facilities here to be able to do that,” she said.
Michelle Jackson said it would be fantastic if the treatment could be offered at the RSC as it would be only a five-minute drive from her workplace.
Meanwhile, Michelle is looking forward to concluding her Herceptin treatments this month and is feeling positive about her health overall following surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“I have my hair back again, so that’s all good,” she said.