NEW TECHNOLOGY: Hervey Bay breast cancer survivor Jodie Houliston with Cancer Care Services operations manager Ray Johnson.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Hervey Bay breast cancer survivor Jodie Houliston with Cancer Care Services operations manager Ray Johnson. Jodie Callcott

NEW TREATMENT: Take big deep breaths

BREAST cancer survivor Jodie Houliston was the first in Hervey Bay to receive a radiation treatment called deep inspiration breath hold.

It is designed for patients with left-side breast cancer and delivers radiotherapy while the patient holds their breath, moving the heart further away from the chest wall to reduce long-term effects on the heart.

Jodie was diagnosed with breast cancer in February.

She said having the treatment in Hervey Bay was a relief.

"It meant quite a lot because I have children and I didn't have to travel to Brisbane," Jodie said.

"I was able to stay at home and go home every afternoon after treatment and come back when it was time for more treatment.

"It (the treatment) was actually a good experience.

"The people here at Genesis were wonderful, so it made it a much better experience."

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She said by raising awareness about the new treatment, she hoped to give others who were battling breast cancer the courage to give it a go.

"It's not scary and it is worthwhile and it all helps in the end," she said.

"Basically, when you have cancer you have to do what you have to do."

Fraser Coast radiation oncologist Dr Esther Sim said the technique was widely used across the GenesisCare network but it was the first time for the Fraser Coast.

"When you have a cancer diagnosis it has such a big impact on the patient and their family and to be geographically isolated, that causes a lot of stress and anxiety," Dr Sim said.

"For radiation, it's a long course of treatment.

"It's several weeks and it's every day and it would necessitate someone to move to Brisbane essentially for that time."

GenesisCare provides the service in Hervey Bay and Bundaberg in a public- private partnership with Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.