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Leading-edge oncology centre to be built in Laval

MONTREAL – Anticipating an escalating number of cancer patients, Quebec is investing $28.7 million to create a leading-edge cancer treatment centre in Laval.

Due to the relative aging of the population, Quebec expects to see 39,000 new cancer cases this year, said Premier Jean Charest, as he announced the new facility. He was accompanied by Health Minister Philippe Couillard and local politicians.

“The number of new cases goes up by nearly 1,000 each year, which means we’re going to reach a threshold of 50,000 new cases within 10 to 12 years,” Charest said at the Hôpital Cité de la Santé, where the 6,000-square-metre oncology centre will be built.

Health minister Couillard said Quebec used to send patients for timely treatment to Toronto and the United States. Due to numerous investments, he continued, it’s standard practice to treat cancer patients inside Quebec within four weeks.

The Laval centre is to open its doors in 2010. It’s expected to provide integrated, multidisciplinary cancer treatment under one roof for Laval residents and the northern region including the Laurentians and Lanaudière.

However, the $28.7 million does not include costs for high-tech equipment, which will require additional government funds. Six treatment rooms initially are to be equipped with four linear accelerators, and another two are to be added at a later phase.

The announcement comes on the heels of $36.3 million investment toward a new wing for cancer treatment at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal. Last year, the government also announced funds for the 11th treatment centre: $53.2 million for a cancer centre at Charles LeMoyne Hospital in Longueuil’s Greenfield Park that’s expected to serve 1.4 million residents on the south shore of Montreal.