Swedish cancer center set to open

A new $10.9 million building is opening on the Swedish/Edmonds campus next week that can provide chemotherapy to as many as 175 people a day.

The 17,102-square-foot building also will be home to nutrition and social services for cancer patients, a laboratory, offices where patients can meet with their physicians, and a pharmacy where the specific mix of chemotherapy drugs are prepared for each patient.

The new building opens Tuesday. It’s close to the current Swedish Cancer Institute on the hospital’s campus, where radiation services will continue to be provided.

In addition to providing chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients, some studies, or trials, of new therapies will be conducted in the new building, said Dr. Eileen Johnston, a Swedish medical oncologist.

A clinical nurse researcher will be based in the building full time, she said.

Chemotherapy treatments can be delivered in as little as 15 minutes or over up to eight hours, Johnston said. Treatments typically span 12 weeks to six months.

The 19 chemotherapy treatment areas, most of which have window views, are located on the building’s second floor.

Some of the chairs are grouped so that patients who want to talk with each other can do so. “Some patients enjoy social interaction,” Johnston said. One treatment area is set aside for patients who want to have privacy.

Until now, chemotherapy services were provided at the Swedish Cancer Institute, which has 14 treatment stations.

Swedish’s electronic medical records system will allow patients’ cancer treatment records to be shared with Swedish primary care doctors and other specialists as needed.

“This is part of the continuing integration of medical care that we’ve been talking about in medicine for 20 years. Now we will see it taking place,” said Dr. Richard McGee, a Swedish oncologist.

The new building is part of the $60 million in building improvements and expansion promised by Swedish when it took over management of the former Stevens Hospital in September 2010.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

Cancer center

The new cancer center at Swedish/Edmonds will open for community tours from 4 to 7 p.m. April 17. The building is at 21632 Highway 99 in Edmonds.

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