New cancer pavilion changing cancer treatment across the state
BATON ROUGE- The new Breast and GYN Cancer Pavilion opened its doors Tuesday. It's located on the Woman's Hospital campus.
The pavilion is a collaboration between Woman's, Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins. The main goal is to make treatment for women more accommodating.
This project was four years in the making. The more than 39,000-square-foot facility will focus just on breast and gynecological (GYN) cancers.
"There's no other cancer center like that in the country that focuses on those two disease sites for women,” said Linda Lee, the administrator of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at OLOL. "What this does is allow a woman to walk in the door, one door and receive everything. From the beginning to diagnosis, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and ongoing follow-ups with their surgeon, their radiation oncologist or their medical oncologist."
The $19 million, three-floor facility is equipped to not only treat cancers and diseases, but will focus on different therapies and provide support groups.
Lee says with their advanced technology, like the Elekta Agility, administering radiation is more precise. On the same floor, there are CT and PET scans and even more advanced technology like brachytherapy.
“The radiation source is implanted into the patient temporarily and it sits right next to the gynecological cancer itself. It treats only that tumor and then it comes back out. And we can avoid everything else, very critical structures in the pelvis,” explains Smith.
The purpose of it all is to cut down patient time on the table, focus in on the cancer, while sparing the patient's healthy tissue from further radiation exposure.
Just an elevator ride away, a 16-bay infusion center designed with the help of patient and nurse input.
"Our nurses felt very strongly that when we developed these centers that we wanted every patient to have a view of the sky and be oriented to the sky. They wanted patients to make sure that they had the opportunity to see that there's life outside here,” says Lee.
It's all in the details. The seats are heated and electrical outlets are set higher so patients aren't reaching. Down the hall from the infusion bay is an on-site clinical pharmacy.
"This pharmacy is literally steps away from the infusion center so when the patient arrives, the nurse cues the pharmacy to begin mixing and our turn around time is less than 30 minutes,” says Lee. "The number one thing that they want is all of their treatment in one location."