Cancer care proves to be a well-received service in 2011
March 16, 2012

Sidney Health Center expanded its cancer care services to include radiation therapy treatment in January 2011. The first of its kind in Montana, Sidney Health Center installed a TomoTherapy Hi-Art radiation treatment system, which is one of the most advanced cancer treatment systems in the area. In fact, the next closest unit is located in Rapid City, SD.

Since opening, more than 60 patients have benefited from the advanced radiation treatment. Unlike traditional radiation therapy equipment, the TomoTherapy system combines CT scan imaging with treatment delivery, ensuring the most accurate radiation treatment with the fewest side effects.

“It’s wonderful to be able to offer a service like this that requires daily treatment in our hometown reducing travel time for area patients,” stated Rick Haraldson, Sidney Health Center CEO.

Another unique quality of TomoTherapy is that it can treat multiple tumors at once as well as complex tumor shapes. In short, it offers the most sophisticated form of IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) with the greatest precision, the fewest side effects to normal tissues, and ultimately, the best outcomes.

“In fact, six patients received multiple-site treatment and/or repeat radiation therapy to the same area, which is typically referred out to larger treatment centers,” stated Dr. Lyle Harrison, radiation oncologist.

Looking forward, the goal of Sidney Health Center is to have all its cancer care services in one central location to help streamline patient care. In January 2012, the Foundation for Community Care announced that a large anonymous donation was made to start construction of Phase II for the Cancer Care Center.

Phase II involves renovating Suite 103 in the clinic and building a private entrance to the Cancer Care Center. Upon completion of the project, all outpatient cancer care services will be centralized, enhancing and streamlining patient care for those going through treatment. The renovation includes adding four chemotherapy and IV therapy infusion rooms with a centralized nursing station as well as providing designated clinic space for the visiting medical oncologist.

Currently, the medical oncology department is located in the ER area which utilizes one of the ER bays as well as an office/treatment room to administer chemotherapy and IV therapies.

Although ongoing events and private donations continue to be accepted for the Cancer Care Center, administrators at Sidney Health Center said the significant donation made it possible to start the bidding process for Phase II and begin construction.

Sidney Health Center plans to call for bids in April with construction beginning early this summer.