Most breast cancer patients in NZ have surgery as their first treatment, with chemo coming later. Overseas, it’s increasingly common for patients to have chemo first. This helps shrink tumours so that surgery is less complicated, and allows doctors to see much sooner how the patient is responding to chemo. But increasing the number of Kiwi patients who get chemo first will require a change in how cancer services are coordinated?
We’re helping hospitals in Auckland and Christchurch to pilot new clinics to coordinate ‘chemo-first’ treatment for an increasing number of patients and develop best-practice guidelines.