Northern Cancer Support Centre opens

Tasmanians affected by cancer in the state's north and north-west now have a world-class cancer centre providing support, comfort and information under one roof.

The Northern Cancer Support Centre in Launceston, launched on 26 February 2013, will provide Tasmania's cancer patients with the very best services to help them through their difficult cancer journeys.

The cancer support centre will make life easier for cancer patients, and their families and friends by providing support groups, advice, relaxation classes, psychological support, informal lounges and reflective gardens.

Cancer Council Tasmania staff and volunteers will provide Tasmanians living with cancer and their families with practical advice and support on a range of issues ranging from finances and relaxation to nutrition.

Patients in regional and remote areas can access the centre using Cancer Council Tasmania's transport 2 treatment service.

The State and Federal Governments contributed $1.55 million each and Cancer Council Tasmania provided land worth $1.2 million for capital works at the $4.3 million cancer support centre.

The centre will dovetail with the nearby Launceston General Hospital's Holman Clinic expansion, which will provide the latest radiation therapy treatment.

The LGH Holman Clinic has installed a new linear accelerator and a brachytherapy unit at a cost of $7 million and will next expand its chemotherapy space from 12 to 17 treatment chairs to help meet demand.

Government funding for the cancer centre came from the Health and Hospitals Fund under the Regional Cancer Centres initiative to improve access to essential cancer services for people in rural, regional and remote areas.

Elsewhere in Tasmania, pre-construction work is underway on a purpose-built North West Regional Cancer Centre at Burnie housing chemotherapy, palliative care and teaching facilities.

This facility will also include a linear accelerator to provide radiation treatment for North West cancer patients to save them travelling to the LGH.

Meanwhile, the last phase of the new Royal Hobart Hospital cancer centre will open this year with a second new linear accelerator for radiation therapy, a patient support centre, and improved clinical and consulting facilities as part of the $586 million RHH redevelopment.

These projects are part of a $48 million investment by government and non-government sources to improve cancer services for all Tasmanians wherever they live.

 26 February 2013