Posted at: 09/30/2012 10:20 AM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The battle against cancer is being fought in a whole new way in Santa Fe.
The brand new Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center celebrated its open house Saturday.
This new center is now serving all adult cancer patients in Northern New Mexico.
“It’ll take up more than half of your year,” said Cia Friedrich of her weekly chemotherapy treatments which she was in for on this particular day.
A breast cancer diagnosis, the mastectomy that followed, the four-month-long chemotherapy that’ll likely be followed by radiation: All this has brought Friedrich a new perspective on life.
“Typical things. Slow down. Breathe,” she said.
The Santa Fe resident doesn’t have to worry about driving far to receive life-saving treatment.
She’s also doing it in a more comfortable setting.
“It isn’t flat white walls, sit in a seat right next to a bunch of other people. Read a magazine and wait,” she said of the center.
The new Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center in Santa Fe provides chemo, radiation and many other cancer treatment services under one roof.
“Medical oncology, radiation oncology, nutrition, integrative medicine, spiritual care, all of the services that neither program by itself could really offer successfully,” said Medical Oncologist Dr. Scott Herbert.
The center is possible through a collaboration between the hospital and a group of local, private practice medical oncologists.
“New Mexico Cancer Care Associates was a successful, long standing private practice in town,” said Herbert. “The hospital brought expertise and resources that were not available to us. So by combining the two programs hopefully we got the best of both worlds. Private practices and hospitals have not always mixed,” explained Herbert.
“It took new people coming to the table. It took health care reform in the future and it took a real effort to be creative and to combine in a way that everyone could feel like they won.”
A remodeled building with the addition of a chemo suite upstairs and new cutting edge technology.
“The great thing about this machine is the ability to rotate in 360-degrees and deliver radiation from all angles,” explained Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Bryan Goss.
Roughly 50 percent of cancer patients undergo chemo and radiation, said Goss.
So he believes offering both in the same building will lead to a dramatic improvement in patient care.
“These days what a big university can offer and what a moderate-size community like Santa Fe can offer are very similar,” said Goss.
As she looks ahead to her last chemo session around Christmas time, Cia Friedrich can sit back and contemplate life’s gifts.
“Comfort much more relaxed atmosphere,” she describes the center.
The American Cancer Society also has an office in the regional cancer center building.
The ACS is helping patients with things like wigs and prosthetics.
Article source: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2783885.shtml?cat=517