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James and Edna Claydon Radiation Treatment Clinic to improve patient care

Great things are possible when people and organizations come together to support a worthy cause. One such example is the James and Edna Claydon Radiation Treatment Clinic, located at the QEII Health Sciences Centre (QEII) in Halifax, which was officially unveiled on October 11, 2012.

“It’s a sad fact that cancer has touched most Nova Scotians’ lives in one way or another,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. … “This state-of the-art facility means more Nova Scotians living with cancer will get the care they need, sooner.”

The clinic is the result of a partnership with the federal and provincial governments, Capital Health, and the QEII Foundation. The QEII Foundation contributed $4 million to the project, through the generosity of many donors including James and Edna (George) Claydon who donated $1.5 million to help with the expansion.

patient_treatment“We are extremely grateful to James and Edna (George) Claydon for their generous support and to all donors who share our vision of better health,” said Victor Goldberg, QEII Foundation volunteer board trustee and campaign chair. “The foundation will continue to raise funds for radiation equipment and needs for patients struggling with cancer.”

Located in a new wing of the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre, the clinic has walls that are *two metres thick in some places. The amount of concrete used in the new wing is similar to that used to build the Halifax Shopping Centre. It includes three new Varian six-mega volt linear accelerators, bringing the total number of linear accelerators in use at the QEII Health Sciences Centre to seven.

Dr. Tetteh Ago, chief of radiation oncology at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, said the clinic will make a significant improvement in delivering care.

“Linear accelerators are used to deliver high-dose radiation treatment to destroy cancer cells,” he said. “This new equipment delivers more focused radiation on the cancer site, increases protection to the healthy surrounding tissue and helps shorten treatment times.”

Today the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre provides radiation therapy to between 120 and 150 patients per day. When the Claydon clinic is operational in early 2013 it will have the capacity to treat more than 200 patients a day. It will ensure a Wait Time Guarantee, which says Nova Scotians will not wait more than eight weeks from their ready to treat date to the start of their treatment. Within this Wait Time Guarantee, patients are prioritized depending on their clinical needs.

The Nova Scotia Cancer Centre provides radiation therapy to patients living in communities served by Capital Health as well as much of the rest of the province. The Centre also treats pediatric cases from all over Atlantic Canada.

“As Atlantic Canadians get older and more people are diagnosed with cancer, the demand for radiation therapy is going to increase,” said Dr. Ago. “These new linear accelerators will allow us to treat more patients and also treat patients sooner. The new equipment will also allow us to treat patients who previously could not be treated with radiation therapy.”

*The radiation therapy project was announced in March 2007, when Nova Scotia received $24 million from the federal government as part of the wait time guarantee projects in Cape Breton and Capital district health authorities. The Nova Scotia Cancer Centre helped establish a wait time guarantee to ensure all Nova Scotians in need of radiation services receive treatment within eight weeks.

*Linear accelerators are housed in rooms called ‘bunkers’ with walls made of concrete that must between 1.1 and 2.4 metres thick to prevent the radiation from ‘leaking’ outside the bunker.


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