Icon has officially opened an Icon Cancer Centre in Canberra – the first private radiation oncology service in response to one of the ACT’s fastest growing healthcare demands. There are more than 1,600 new cancer diagnoses in the ACT each year and the local demand for care is expected to increase in the next decade with predictions that 55% more cancer treatments will be needed.
John Barrett from the Gold Coast has lived with his wife in Canberra for eight years due to work. In November 2018, John was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) on his right cheek which would require surgery followed by radiation therapy. The new Icon Cancer Centre opened in time for him to receive radiation treatment during the critical window following his surgery. This also meant he could continue working and being with friends and family.
“I’m very grateful that the Icon centre opened in time for my treatment. I had a really short window to have my radiation after surgery which wasn’t going to be possible locally. If Icon wasn’t here I would have had to go to Sydney or the Gold Coast for six whole weeks, and that would have meant both myself and my wife having to stop work. I’m a contractor so the thought of no income and the uncertainty around extended leave was concerning,” said John Barrett.
For patients like John, the centre provides support and world-class treatments in a caring environment, close to home.
“My cancer diagnosis led to numerous side effects – I lost my sense of taste, my skin was visibly affected, I experienced loss of appetite, weight loss, hearing loss and mouth ulcers. Without the support of a professional and truly caring team providing me with all the right information and support, it would have been a very difficult time to get through,” said John.