ACT News

New DVD to help make cancer treatment less daunting for Canberra patients

DVD developed by ACT Health will be used to make information available to cancer patients at Canberra Hospital before they start a course of radiation therapy, in the hope that it will alleviate some of their anxiety.

Cancer patients in Canberra will have access to a new DVD to help make treatment less frightening.

The new DVD offers information about radiation therapy and treatment and was developed with input from patients. 

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said cancer treatment was daunting and a physically as well as emotionally challenging experience and anything to make that easer was an invaluable tool. 

"This also evidences the fact that sometimes it is the simple things in a process like cancer treatment that can provide a great deal of benefit and make a real difference in the patient experience," Ms Gallagher said.

"The time of diagnosis can also be a period of strong emotions and information overload and this DVD will provide a way for patients to get a broad range of information at a time when they can better process it."

Acting director of radiation oncology at Canberra Hospital, Dr Angela Rezo, believed the DVD would be a very useful resource for patients. 


"It will be a really useful way of communicating to patients before they embark on a course of radiotherapy which can be quite a daunting thought for many patients because it's quite a technical treatment and often a treatment which patients have no prior experience with," she said. 

"It's a time when they receive a lot of information from a lot of different sources and the explanation about radiotherapy can be extremely long and difficult for people to take on board in one sitting when they're already a bit anxious.

"A DVD like this helps to explain all the practical elements of what will occur to them and I think seeing it on a TV screen in the highly professional way in which the DVD has been produced will hopefully help to reduce anxiety about starting treatment."

Ms Gallagher launched the Radiation Oncology Patient Information DVD at an event at Canberra Region Cancer Centre on Tuesday.

The DVD was developed by ACT Health and produced by Southern Cross Media. The Dry July Foundation provided funding for the initiative as well as 1000 copies of the DVD, supported by the Canberra Hospital Foundation.