Cancer patients in Greater Shepparton are set to receive world-class radiation therapy treatment locally for the first time

Thursday March 21st

Today, GenesisCare officially announced the development of a $11 million state-of-the-art cancer centre, to open in Shepparton by the end of 2019.

Community members with cancer currently need to travel to Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga or Bendigo for radiation therapy treatment, which is delivered daily for up to seven weeks depending on the case. This distance can place a significant physical, emotional and financial strain on individuals and their families, and, for some, it can discourage patients from following through with their prescribed treatment.

The world-class centre will enable local patients to access radiation therapy treatment within Greater Shepparton for the first time, with capacity to treat more than 400 patients a year.

Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is a highly effective weapon in the fight against cancer, contributing to more than 40 per cent of all cures.

Patient treatment will be delivered using an advanced linear accelerator machine, made possible through a contribution from the Federal Government’s Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG). The grant program enables access to high-cost equipment used to deliver radiation therapy in areas of need.

Federal Member for Murray, the Hon Damian Drum, welcomed the news that the centre would be operational by Christmas: “This is terrific news for our region. A local radiation therapy service to complement the excellent care already provided locally, has been in demand for a very long time. I welcome this new centre, which will soon mean that cancer patients in the Goulburn Valley region can receive an extended range of cancer care closer to home. It is significant that GenesisCare will be able to relieve the burden of travel on patients and their loved ones during what is an already extremely tough time. The federal government is very proud to have assisted with the purchase of an advanced linear accelerator machine to help establish this service. I’d like to thank GenesisCare for working with the community to achieve this milestone, and I look forward to the benefits that this service will bring to our community.”

GenesisCare Radiation Oncologist Dr Craig MacLeod has been consulting in Shepparton for the past 18 years, with patients travelling to Albury Wodonga for treatment.

“We’re pleased to be able to play an even bigger role in delivering the best possible life outcomes for people with cancer in the region,” said Dr MacLeod.

“I’ve been consulting with patients in the Greater Shepparton community for almost two decades, and am thrilled that we’re soon going to be able to provide both doctor consultations and treatment locally. I can see that the current long-distance travel for treatment takes its toll on patients, who are already going through a very challenging time in their lives. A local centre will mean patients can more easily continue with their normal routines, staying connected to their support networks and in many cases continuing to work in the area.”

The high quality cancer centre will offer the latest in radiation oncology treatment technology, including Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) for women with left-sided breast cancer, Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy (SABR), Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), 4D CT scans, and innovative skin cancer treatments. It will also offer rapid access to radiation therapy treatment for patients in palliative care – another first for the community.

This comprehensive treatment offering demonstrates GenesisCare’s commitment to improving life outcomes for people with cancer and continuing to deliver high quality cancer care services.

Shane Ryan, GenesisCare’s General Manager of Oncology in Victoria, added: “As we move towards establishing the centre, we look forward to continually working with local health service providers and government departments so cancer patients in the community have seamless, rapid access to the right care at the right time. We’re very thankful to the Federal Government for their support of a grant to enable local access to the multi-million dollar equipment used to provide high quality radiation therapy.”

GenesisCare is the leading provider of radiation oncology services in Australia, the UK and Spain, and will be bringing global best practice insights and expertise to the region. The new Shepparton facility will add to GenesisCare’s Victorian network of nine radiation oncology centres and will be strongly linked to services at St Vincent’s Hospital and Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre. The organisation employs more than 300 medical professionals and support staff across its oncology and cardiac services in Victoria, with exciting expansion plans to support the employment and training of even more high-end medical, clinical and nursing professionals over the next five years.

The new centre will create up to 20 jobs within the community, and will support local suppliers wherever possible throughout the build. It will be located at 124 Corio Street in the centre of the town, opposite GVH Community Health, providing great access to world class treatment.

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