Cancer Services



Director: Dr Stephen Vaughan


Services​


The Cancer Services Clinical Institute focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with cancer. Specialists in medical oncology and radiation oncology treat patients as part of multidisciplinary teams that may include surgical specialists, general physicians, diagnostic experts, nursing and allied health personnel, palliative care, and counselling and support services.​


Epworth is the only private hospital group in Victoria offering all forms of cancer treatment in-house through its comprehensive cancer services at each of its major acute facilities – from diagnostic through to surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and drug therapies, dedicated oncology wards and day oncology services, and palliative care. We also are involved in a number of clinical trials aimed at assessing new, promising forms of treatment. This allows Epworth to give our patients access to new drugs and novel therapies that are not generally available in the Australian health system.

 

Activity


The figures below are for patients admitted by an oncologist. Patients may also be admitted for surgery as treatment for their cancer, and figures relating to these patients are included under the relevant Clinical Institute.

 
​FY 2014 ​FY 2015 ​​FY 2016

Hospital activity Courses
Bed days
Courses​ Bed days Courses Bed
days

​Patients ​21,152 ​39,522 ​22,176 ​46,884 23,571 44,545​
 


​FY 2014 ​FY 2015 ​FY 2016

Services Courses Courses Courses
​Radiation oncology  ​23,346*
 24,168*
​                    26,172
Chemotherapy
13,806 
13,999 
​                    15,394 
 

* Number of fractions - during radiotherapy treatment, the full dose of radiation is usually divided into a number of smaller doses called fractions. This allows healthy cells to recover between treatments. The fractions are given over a number of treatment sessions.

 

Cancers treated include:

 

  • Breast cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Digestive system cancers
  • Central nervous system cancers
  • Gynaecological cancers
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Renal and urinary tract cancers
  • Skin cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
 


Highlights


  • Stereotactic treatment uses beams to deliver extremely high doses of radiation to very specific locations and destroy cancerous cells, while causing minimal damage to surrounding normal tissue. Epworth is the leading provider of stereotactic treatment in Australia, treating between 400 and 500 patients per year. Stereotactic technology is suitable for tumours and cancers up to a specified maximum size. At present, stereotactic treatments are mainly used to treat secondary cancers, spinal cancers, and lung cancers with local control rates of up to 95%. However, the technology is now being trialled as a treatment in certain types of prostate cancers and brain cancers. The technology is also used to treat other, non-cancerous medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, trigeminal neuralgia, growth on the auditory nerve, and non-cancerous tumours inside the head. Epworth is recognised as a leader in this technology. 
  • With three robot-equipped theatres at Epworth Eastern, Epworth Freemasons and Epworth Richmond, more than 50 robotic qualified surgeons and a dedicated Centre for Robotic Surgery – Epworth is the busiest centre of robotic surgery in Australia. Across the three sites, Epworth performed more than 1,000 robotic cases in 2015 and has a broad array of specialties using the technology. Since the first robotic system was installed at Epworth in 2003, we have performed more than 5,000 robotic procedures. Robotic surgery does not replace the skill of the surgeon, but provides the best platform for performing certain procedures in a minimally invasive fashion. It has been found to offer significant patient benefits, including shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, less pain, reduced risk of infection and faster recovery. 
  • Creation of new Professorial Chair of Molecular Oncology and Cancer Immunology, and appointment of Professor Miles Prince AM MBBS (Hons) MD FRACP FRCPA MACD AFRACMA as Professor/Director to lead this area. The new academic unit at Epworth Freemasons will provide research, clinical and teaching leadership in molecular oncology and cancer immunology within the School of Medicine at the University of Melbourne. The purpose of the new unit is to help move current science into practice and bring the associated benefits to patients.


Our performance


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) has defined four key benchmarks related to the delivery of radiation oncology. 


The National Radiotherapy Waiting Times Database (NRWTD) collates data provided to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) by state and territory health authorities, and some private radiotherapy providers, based on the data set specification (DSS) for Radiotherapy waiting times.


Radiotherapy waiting time is the number of days from when the patient is ready to be treated with radiotherapy in the opinion of the treating clinician (or are ‘ready-for-care’) until the day the patient first receives radiotherapy treatment—that is, the number of days between the Ready-for-care date and the Radiotherapy start date. Reported waiting times include ‘nonworking days’ (such as weekends or public holidays) and would include days on which a unit was not able to provide services. 


Queries

If you have any queries regarding the data on this page, please email ClinicalProfile@epworth.org.au



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