Welcome to the Illawarra Shoalhaven Cancer and Haematology Network

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Cancer and Haematology Network provides comprehensive cancer care treatment and support services to patients in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.

The Network strives to maintain the patient at the centre of our service with our goal to provide equal access to high quality cancer services as close to their place of residence as possible.

Our population

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  • Our local health district has a total population of over 385,000 people
  • More than 13,000 residents (or 3.4% of our population) identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • 18.4% of the population were born overseas

Our health

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On average our local health district is more disadvantaged than the NSW population. Residents in our district are more likely to be:

  • current smokers
  • risk drinkers
  • overweight or obese.

All of these are predisposing factors for cancer.

Cancer in our community

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1,600 cases of cancer are diagnosed in our region each year.

The top five most common cancers of all diagnosed are:

  1. Breast - 19%
  2. Prostate - 19%
  3. Lung - 15%
  4. Bowel - 14%
  5. Haematological - 10%

In NSW:

  • Cancer incidence increased by 9% between 2001 and 2010
  • Cancer mortality rates decreased by 10% in the same period - thanks to improved detection, treatment, and patient care.

Our service and our team

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Our 200+ member team across three hubs - Illawarra Cancer Care Centre in Wollongong, Shoalhaven Cancer Care Centre in Nowra, and Milton-Ulladulla Community Chemotherapy Cancer Services in Milton - provide expert clinical core and specialised support. This includes the areas of medical oncology, radiation oncology, haematology, nursing,chemotherapy, radiation therapy, pharmacy, medical physics, genetics, allied health, clinical trials, research, pathology, psychology, education, administration, hotel services, accommodation, data and information management and systems, corporate, and project management.

Whilst paediatric patients are treated in Sydney, we treat 2000+ patients each month at:

  • 2 Comprehensive Cancer Care Centres
  • 1 Specialised Inpatient Ward
  • 1 Rural Chemotherapy Service

300+ dedicated volunteers coordinate fundraising and provide patients and their families with cancer resources, emotional support, financial assistance, and transport.

Cancer projections

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A projected increase in population, ageing, and new cancer cases will create a burden on cancer services across our region. Demand for chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment is expected to increase by 30% between 2011 and 2021.