Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

The Facts

From 3010 Melbourne University Magazine - 2016

“The building should inspire hope and courage, and a shared belief that progress in beating the disease will come more readily if a centre of excellence is created to bring together the right people.”

Situated at the nexus of Flemington Road, Elizabeth Street and Grattan Street, the gateway to the renowned Parkville medical and research precinct, the VCCC is “a magnificent piece of infrastructure”, says the partnership’s executive director, Professor Jim Bishop AO (MB BS 1972, MD 1990, MMed 1999).

Read the full story >


  • 160 overnight beds
  • A 42-bed-capacity intensive care unit
  • 110 same-day beds
  • Dedicated clinical trials unit
  • Eight medi-hotel beds, with space fro overnight accomodation for families of country parents
  • More than 25,000m2 of research space
  • Eight operating theatres
  • Eight radiation therapy bunkers
  • From six original partners, the VCCC has grown to a partnership of seven hospitals, two reseach institutes and the University of Melbourne

Plain packaging of cigarettes

"Decades ago people argued that mandatory use of seatbelts in cars was an infringement on the rights of the individual. Now it is seldom discussed, and statistics show that thousands of road trauma deaths have been avoided.” - The same will be said for plain packaging of cigarettes.

Report by Todd Harper, CEO of Cancer Council Victoria

The original report of 2011

Support commentary: Paul Grogan

Medical progress buys cancer patients time

Kate Hagan - Health Reporter

From The Age, October 11, 2013

More Victorians are surviving cancer with two-thirds of those diagnosed still alive five years later, new figures show.

The latest cancer statistics, included in a report to be launched by Cancer Council Victoria on Friday, show 29,387 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer last year and 10,780 people died as a result.

Of the Victorians diagnosed with cancer between 2007 and 2011, 66 per cent survived five years after diagnosis, up from 61 per cent of those diagnosed between 2002 and 2006.

Victorian cancer registry director Helen Farrugia said survival improvements reflected advances in treatment, as well as the success of screening programs.

The report noted that five-year cancer survival was better for residents of metropolitan Melbourne (67 per cent) than those elsewhere in Victoria (63 per cent).

It said reasons for the difference were unclear but it was possible Victorians living outside Melbourne had poorer access to cancer services.

The five most common cancers in Victoria last year were prostate, breast, bowel, lung and melanoma, which accounted for almost 60 per cent of all new cancers and half of all cancer deaths.

Rates of bowel cancer have decreased in the past two years, but the report’s authors said it was too early to say if the change was due to the expansion of the national bowel cancer screening program.

Lung cancer continued to decline for men but experts say rates for women are yet to reach their peak, reflecting smoking trends which saw a surge in the number of women who started smoking in the 1960s and ‘70s.

For melanoma, death rates were stable but incidence continued to rise in older age groups. Cancers with the highest five-year survival were testis (98 per cent), thyroid (94 per cent), prostate (93 per cent), melanoma (90 per cent) breast (90 per cent) and Hodgkin’s lymphoma (89 per cent). Those with the lowest five-year survival were liver (15 per cent), lung (14 per cent), mesothelioma (7 per cent) and pancreas (6 per cent).

Cancer survivor Kate Riordan was diagnosed with melanoma in 2008, when she was pregnant with her second child Hamish, now 5, a younger brother to Abby, 8. The diagnosis came as a shock with Mrs Riordan discovering a mole on her scalp was cancerous after electing to have it removed for cosmetic reasons. A year later doctors told her the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, requiring surgery to excise the cancer.

Mrs Riordan has been cancer free for almost five years but said the disease had left its mark with ongoing neck and shoulder pain. ‘’When you have cancer no one really comes away unscathed … The positive element is that for a lot of people it leaves you with a heightened appreciation for life and living,’’ she said. Pictured: Kate Riordan and her children Abby and Hamish.

Kate was diagnosed with cancer when she was pregnant with Hamish but was successfully treated and is now cancer free.