230310 MHF Cancer Facility-1
First-time radiation treatment for Sunraysia cancer patients
Apr 02, 2023

The majority of cancer patients in Sunraysia and the wider regions will no longer need to travel hundreds of kilometres for radiation treatment, following the official opening of the $12 million Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre on Monday.

This is the first-time radiation treatment has been available locally, with patients previously having to travel to Bendigo, Melbourne or Adelaide, undergoing treatment away from their support networks and often at a considerable cost.

Mildura Health Private Hospital CEO Marcus Guthrie said this was a game-changer for not only Sunraysia cancer patients, but those in Broken Hill, Swan Hill and the Riverland.

“This is such a significant step forward in the region’s healthcare capabilities and will have an immeasurable impact on cancer patients,” Mr Guthrie said.

“There are countless cases of local patients having compromised on their radiation treatment if they could not receive it locally.

“Sometimes they chose not to undergo radiation treatment if it meant travelling outside the region, particularly those who had to stay away for weeks or months at a time.

“The opening of the Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre is going to turn all of that around and hopefully reduce the poor cancer outcomes experienced in this area.”

The new world-class cancer centre will operate in partnership with Mildura Health Private Hospital (MHPH) and Icon Group.

MHPH will provide chemotherapy treatment in eight private oncology bays, while Icon will deliver radiation treatment to private and public patients using the linear accelerator.

The $4.5 million state-of-the-art Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator is housed in a specially built radiation bunker at Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre, delivering advanced, highly targeted radiation treatments and techniques closer to home for local cancer patients.

Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton said the centre would bring much-needed radiation oncology services to the wider region.

“With both cancer incidence and mortality in Mildura ranking higher than the Victorian average, we know how important access to cancer treatment is for local communities,” Mr Middleton said.

“Investing in the infrastructure that surrounds people’s care and building relationships with local leaders and community groups, backed by experienced clinical teams, provides people facing a cancer diagnosis with a local service they can rely on.

“We know this will make a significant difference to local patients and their families for many years to come.”

Capital funding for the Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre came from the contributions of Mildura Health Fund members, while Icon Group secured funding for the linear accelerator from the Federal Government.