New $11M cancer centre to be open by Christmas

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WORLD CLASS FACILITY… An artist impression of the new, state-of-the-art $11M radiation therapy treatment facility that is set to be built in Shepparton this year. Image: Supplied.
WORLD CLASS FACILITY… An artist impression of the new, state-of-the-art $11M radiation therapy treatment facility that is set to be built in Shepparton this year. Image: Supplied.

IT HAS been something desperately required in our region for a long time, but Shepparton is finally getting a world-class, state-of-the-art $11M radiation therapy treatment facility, and it is set to be open by Christmas this year.

The new centre, being delivered by GenesisCare, will create up to 20 jobs within the community and will support local suppliers wherever possible throughout the build. It is expected to be located at 124 Corio Street, opposite GVH Community Health.

The 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.

Community members with cancer currently need to travel to Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga or Bendigo for radiation therapy treatment, but this new 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.

Federal Member for Murray, Damian Drum said, “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.

“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.”