Women in Melbourne’s east will soon have better access to breast screening, assessment and diagnostic services and care, closer to home, with construction starting on the new Maroondah Breast Cancer Centre in Ringwood.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Member for Eastern Metropolitan Shaun Leane today turned the first sod on building works for the Andrews Labor Government’s new $10 million facility at Eastern Health’s Maroondah Hospital.

A key election promise, the project will deliver a first-class and purpose-built cancer centre that will be a convenient ‘one-stop-shop’ for screening, assessment and diagnostic services and support that women need in their fight against breast cancer.

When complete in early 2018, the centre is expected to see an additional 25,000 women every year, closer to home and their families and loved ones in Melbourne’s east.

It will bring together and expand a range of services previously provided from different locations and will feature modern rooms for mammography, ultrasound, radiographers, medical image reading, allied health and clinical consulting services. It will also include a group treatment room and women’s wellness lounge.

The two ultrasound rooms will be able to conduct guided biopsies, while the four medical imaging reading rooms will ensure women can receive quicker test results and quicker treatment access.

With services co-located and better integrated, staff will be able to work effectively and efficiently together to share best practices and improve patient care.

More Victorians than ever before are surviving breast cancer. But we know we need to do more to continue to save more lives – in 2015, 4341 Victorians were diagnosed with breast cancer and 722 died from the disease – this is still too many.

Through our Victorian Cancer Plan 2016-20 we’re working hard to turn this around, setting an ambitious target of saving 10,000 lives from cancer in the next 10 years.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We promised a dedicated breast cancer centre for the eastern suburbs, and we’re getting on with building it.”

“The new Centre will cater for women at all stages of their illness and treatment and will be a welcoming, warm place for family and friends to visit.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Shaun Leane

“We are making it easier for women in the East to get the care they need, when they need it, closer to home, in a one-stop-shop for breast cancer screening, assessment and supportive care services.”