Icon proudly turned the first sod of the new Icon Geelong site on Monday alongside local MP Darren Cheeseman and Epworth Geelong CEO Damian Armour, celebrating the start of construction for what is set to be the first private radiation oncology facility in Geelong.
With cancer rates expected to grow by over 40% in Geelong over the next 12 years, Icon Geelong will provide greater access to advanced radiation treatment with a capacity to treat 500 new patients each year.
“Icon are delighted to be on track for a late 2019 completion of our radiation oncology centre at the Epworth Geelong Hospital. Together Epworth and Icon are opening up greater choice for patients with cancer in the greater Geelong area,” Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton said.
The centre will feature the latest in radiation therapy technology and techniques with a Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator, including stereotactic radiation therapy, the most advanced treatment for small metastatic tumours. This technique provides pinpoint precision to multiple tumours while limiting radiation doses to surrounding healthy tissue.
Icon Geelong will also be the first in the region to offer advanced stereotactic treatment with the ability to treat complex multiple brain tumours and metastatic disease, offering the best cancer care possible to patients without the stress of travel and time spent apart from loved ones.
“Icon Geelong will be opening with the most advanced radiation technology and techniques available. Currently people with advanced cancer, such as brain or lung, still travel to Melbourne for complex radiation treatment. We have a real commitment to people being treated closer to home and the support networks that are so vital to their wellbeing,” Mr Middleton said.
“Being from regional Victoria and having started my career in Geelong, being able to open a centre that will offer a greater breadth of treatment and keep people from travelling outside the region is close to my heart.”
Radiation therapy services delivered at Icon Cancer Centre will be available to patients who access both public and private healthcare, reducing the waitlist burden on the public system. The centre is set to open by late 2019.