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A new lung centre at the JGH
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 3 mai 2012

Photo: Courtesy Jewish General Hospital

Physiotherapist Thi Tran leads a class in Qigong at the Peter Brodje Lung Centre

The Peter Brojde Lung Centre is bright, airy and fully equipped with the latest in medical technology, including a gym for therapeutic exercise.

The new clinic on the tenth floor of the Segal Cancer Centre of the Jewish General Hospital has just opened thanks to a donation from the family of the late Peter Brojde, who died of lung cancer in 2005. Its mission is to address not only a patient’s cancer treatment but also physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

In addition to oncologists and a surgeon, the Peter Brojde Lung Centre team comprises four nurses who have their own offices to sit down privately with patients and their families and discuss how to best complement the physician’s care with nutritional advice and exercise.

The centre also has a clinical research unit to explore the effects of complementary treatments such as massage and acupuncture on symptoms and quality of life.

A clinical trial is being planned on the use of Chinese herbal medicines in conjunction with traditional radiation and chemotherapy in treating lung cancer patients. The trial must be ratified by the hospital’s ethics and scientific review committees as well as by Health Canada.

Dr. Jason Agulnik and Dr. Mary Grossman are co-directors of the centre, which has a clear philosophy to “ensure patients are at their optimum level of wellness before, during and after treatment. You can have cancer and still live well,” says Dr. Mary Grossman. “We may slow down the cancer and contain it if not cure it.”

Patients at the centre not only have access to traditional treatments for lung cancer but also to an array of non-traditional methods such as acupuncture, massage therapy, the Chinese meditative practice of Qigong, as well as yoga and tai chi. “We believe this is unique in Canada since our team is made up of conventional healthcare givers and alternative therapists such as traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, physiotherapists and massage therapists,” says Dr. Grossman.

The massage therapists can also teach family members how to massage their loved ones so they can feel involved in their care.

The Peter Brodje Lung Centre sees about 400 patients in the new facility. These patients had treatment before in the Jewish General’s Segal Cancer Centre. But now, most of the tenth floor of the centre, which was empty until two weeks ago, is devoted to the holistic approach of the lung centre, which offers everything in one location.

“The full team is now in one place to offer a one-stop care center,” says Dr. Grossman.

[ Gerri Barrer ]

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