The Gynaecological Cancer Centre opened in November 1986 with 7 beds in the gynaecology ward, 2 dedicated oncology nurses and a secretary.
Within 18 months new patient referrals had increased at least four-fold and oncology was requiring an ever increasing number of beds. With the late Dr John Greenwell, Medical Superintendent, a proposal was written for a new state-of-the-art Gynaecological Cancer Centre. Macquarie House was renovated by the Benevolent Society to provide administrative offices, 25 inpatient beds, outpatient and brachytherapy facilities.
This Centre was officially opened by Hon Peter Collins MLA, Minister for Health in March 1990 and became the benchmark for Gynaecological Oncology units throughout Australia and New Zealand and was replicated at the major Women’s Hospital in Singapore.
Today the Centre has weekly outreach clinics and surgery in Canberra and fortnightly clinics in Wollongong.
The unit treats 350 new invasive cancers per year; performs 330 major operations per year and undertakes over 1000 cycles of chemotherapy per year.
Clinical research covers surgical management of vulvar, cervical and ovarian cancer, nutrition, lymphoedema and the laboratory is developing a screening test for ovarian cancer.
The Gynaecological Cancer Centre at the Royal Hospital for Women (RHW) is available to all women with gynaecological cancer. The most common cancers are those arising from the ovaries, uterus and cervix. Less common cancers are those arising from the fallopian tubes, placenta, vagina and vulva.