Photo Gallery | Radiation Oncology Services move to BMC Cancer Center
PITTSFIELD — The Hillcrest Campus of Berkshire Medical Center is now home to Radiation Oncology services, which just opened Monday at the BMC Cancer Center on the shores of Onota Lake on Tor Court.
As a result of the relocation, both Radiation Oncology and Hematology Oncology are together in a single location at the Hillcrest Campus and completes a nearly $6 million investment by Berkshire Health Systems in radiation oncology.
According to BHS spokesman Michael Leary, this will help many patients who may need both types of treatment in their battle against cancer by allowing them to have both in one location.
"Berkshire Health Systems has a long-standing commitment to providing the most advanced radiation oncology treatment therapies," said Dr. Wade Gebara, medical director of Radiation Oncology services at BMC. "This significant investment by the health system is designed to focus on our current needs and also the needs of the foreseen future for our community."
The technologically cutting-edge radiation oncology clinic features two new linear accelerators designed to provide highly precise treatment and targeting of the radiation therapy, thus reducing any impact on surrounding healthy tissue. The accelerators can obtain either CT or X-ray images to increase the precision and accuracy of the radiation beams.
By using a computerized treatment planning system to calculate treatment dose and coordinate targeting, beams can rotate around the body entering from numerous directions. BMC has also installed a new CT Simulator for radiation oncology, which provides advanced treatment planning for each patient prior to receiving radiation therapy.
The location of radiation oncology services at the center is another phase in the completion of the center, which opened in the fall of 2013. The Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer care services, including hematology oncology, infusion therapy, radiation oncology and a range of integrative care services.
While the majority of the programs that are locating at the cancer center are now in place, there are a small number that have yet to open.
Radiation oncology is a major piece of this, however, as it co-locates two primary treatment programs — chemotherapy, or infusion therapy, and radiation therapy — which is more convenient for patients who are receiving a combination of the two treatments.
Radiation Oncology services at BMC sees nearly 440 patients a year. A course of individual treatment is made up of between one to 44 treatments, all customized for the individual patient's illness.
The Radiation Oncology Clinic is located on the lower level of the center, and accessed through a dedicated entrance and patient parking at the rear of the building.