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Cancer care now closer to home

First patient receives treatment at Concord's new comprehensive cancer centre.

A person stands in front of an almost room-filling rotating cancer treatment device.
SydneyConnect Image: Anita Arcamone, the first patient to receive treatment at the Icon Cancer Centre Concord

Anita Arcamone is thankful she can now receive cancer care closer to home.

"I live just seven minutes away from Concord Hospital. Compared to my past treatment experiences where I had to travel 20 minutes or more, this is so much more convenient.

"Especially with the excruciating pain I was in from my cancer that was exacerbated by travelling. It meant after treatment I could come home very quickly to relax and recover," she said.

Anita was the first patient to receive radiation therapy treatment at a new comprehensive cancer centre at the hospital.

The Icon Cancer Centre Concord is located within the new Rusty Priest Building, and officially opened its doors as the hospital's $341 million stage one redevelopment was nearing completion.

It gives patients access to a wide-range of cancer treatments under the one roof including medical oncology and radiation oncology.

Anita was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and had a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy at Westmead Hospital.

She was cancer-free for ten years. Her breast cancer returned and her treatment was again successful.

But, in 2019, her breast cancer again resurfaced. She was also diagnosed with lung cancer and lesions had also developed on her spine.

"When you hear your cancer has spread to the bone, it can be easy to worry. It was so reassuring knowing I was getting the latest treatment at Icon Concord, supported by such a wonderful team," she said.

Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive, Dr Teresa Anderson, said the radiation oncology service is an important addition to Concord Hospital's cancer services.

"The delivery of radiation oncology will enable our patients and their families to receive comprehensive cancer care close to their home. This is another fantastic way the important redevelopment of Concord Hospital is helping to meet the healthcare needs of the growing community of the inner west," Dr Anderson said.

And, the District's Clinical Director of Cancer Services and Palliative Care, Associate Professor Ilona Cunningham said the service would make a significant difference.

"Our clinicians and patients have been eager to see this service available and being all in the one location at Concord will make a huge difference. We look forward to working closely with Icon Cancer Centre to improve the outcomes for our patients. Patients will now have their life saving or palliative radiation consultation and treatment close to home at Concord Hospital."