Lights on Loddon Mallee

Lights on Loddon Mallee

Episode 5 - Cancer wellness program

Dr Rob Blum is clinical director of the Bendigo Health Oncology Unit and Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Services. He has two decades of experience in general medical oncology and clinical trials.

Jenna Sing is an oncology nurse and has worked at Bendigo Health for about 10 years. She recently was appointed to the role of Wellness Coordinator creating a program of activities for cancer patients which focus on their all-round wellbeing.

During this episode of “Lights on Loddon” Rob and Jenna discuss the activities offered to cancer patients through the Wellness Program and the importance of support that goes beyond the clinical.

 

Episode 4 - Relationships and sexual health

Judy Lamb, a nurse practitioner in Bendigo Health's Infectious Diseases with a background in sexual health and midwifery, and Louse Holland, a clinical nurse consultant in Infectious Diseases who also works as a nurse practitioner in women’s sexual and reproductive health, provide insight and guidance on the importance of communicating with our children, teenagers and young adults about relationships and sexual health.

 
 
 
 

Episode 3 - Cancer Treatment Trials

Regional Victorian cancer patient John Robson explains his decision to take part in a Clinical Trial hosted by Bendigo Health Cancer Centre assessing the use of denosumab in the treatment of metastatic melanoma, during our conversation with oncologist Dr Sam Harris.

Bios

Oncologist Dr Sam Harris practises medicine at the Bendigo Health Oncology Unit specialising in breast cancer, melanoma and lung cancer and sarcomas (including GIST). Dr Harris plays a major role in the Bendigo Health Clinical Trials unit and is currently overseeing the trial, CHARLI, where denosumab is added to standard immunotherapies to treat cancer patients with metastatic melanoma.

Kyneton resident John Robson had enjoyed an illness-free life until 2014 when a spot on his arm was diagnosed as melanoma and was subsequently removed. At the start of 2021 John discovered a lump under his arm. The cancer had spread through his body and was now inoperable. He was referred to the Cancer Centre where he met Dr Sam Harris who recommended him as a candidate for the denosumab clinical trial.

Episode 2 - Heart Health

Heart attack survivor Bradley Warren, 44, reveals how he ended up requiring emergency specialist care, and certain life choices that led him there, during our conversation with cardiologist Dr Voltaire Nadurata.

Bios

Brad Warren is a 44 year old publican and cardiac arrest survivor who is eternally grateful for Bendigo Hospital’s 24/7 Catheterisation Lab service.

Dr Voltaire Nadurata is an interventional cardiologist with a specialty in cardiac artery stenting and pacemaker insertion and implantable cardiac defibrillators. Operating as our Clinical Director of Cardiology, he maintains a special interest in chest pain management, Acute Coronary Syndrome, cardiac arrhythmias, heart block and high blood pressure.

Episode 1 - Voluntary Assisted Dying

Legislation was introduced in Victoria in June 2019 where a person in the late stages of an advanced disease can be prescribed a medicine that will bring about their death. Public reasoning varies surrounding the ethics of VAD, but at its heart is a respect for a person’s choice and option to end their life whether they choose to or not. We’ll hear from Regional Voluntary Assisted Dying navigator Alison Smith and then Carol, a local resident and cancer patient who has been given the option of using VAD.

 

Bios

Alison Smith

During her 20-year career in palliative care, Alison Smith has seen a change in attitudes towards euthanasia and voluntary assisted dying. It was her desire to investigate the safeguards surrounding VAD and better support her colleagues which saw Alison join the Department of Health Working Groups initiative to prepare health services for the introduction of State Government legislation. With confidence in the system, Alison was ready to take on the position of navigator for VAD in regional Victoria, a role which she says has been a privilege.

 Carol

Carol is a long-term patient with Bendigo Health Cancer Services. She underwent a mastectomy some 10 years ago which was followed by a hysterectomy but unfortunately the cancer continued to spread and treatment is no longer an option.  With hampered mobility, constant pain and becoming an increasing burden on loved ones, Carol applied to Voluntary Assisted Dying. She now has the means to bring about her death when she chooses, taking control of the one thing she can in her life which brings her peace.  

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