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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

MultiCare brings cancer care and treatment under one roof at Deaconess

MultiCare is bringing its cancer care and treatment services all under one roof at the Deaconess Health and Education Building, right next to the hospital.

The new MultiCare Deaconess Cancer Center consolidates MultiCare’s treatment options for oncology patients, who previously might have needed to drive to clinics throughout the region to get specific care and treatment.

The center also means that patients at the hospital can get treatment for cancer much more seamlessly.

Radiation and treatments are offered on the first floor of the Health and Education Building, and clinical care will be offered on the seventh floor.

The new cancer center also came with an equipment upgrade. MultiCare doctors unveiled the new linear accelerator on Thursday, which has been in use since late May, treating patients who need radiation as a part of their cancer treatment.

The new accelerator is exciting for Dr. Zachary Guss, a radiation oncologist at MultiCare, who said it produces much higher-quality X-rays to show tumors as well as imaging that helps target very small and specific areas that need to be treated.

The new machine is also much more efficient at targeting the precise area where the cancer is located, meaning that tissue that doesn’t need to be exposed to radiation is not.

So far, MultiCare patients are enjoying the new location and new machine, Karen Leppert, imaging director at MultiCare Inland Northwest, said.

“You’re in and out of treatment so much faster,” Leppert said, especially with the new linear accelerator making appointments much shorter.

Guss and the radiation team can get patients in and out for an appointment in 15 minutes. Depending on the cancer and the dosage of radiation needed, some patients might just need one appointment while others could be coming back daily for several weeks at a time.

Previously, MultiCare offered radiation, but it was in Spokane Valley. Similarly, other treatment options were scattered among various clinics in the region. Now all cancer treatment, including chemotherapy , is under the same roof.

More than 30 patients can get radiation in a day, with the new linear accelerator, and more than 20 patients have been receiving treatment there each day since the center opened in late May.

Guss said he likes that he can begin treatment seamlessly with patients who are hospitalized in Deaconess already.

“If a patient is hospitalized and diagnosed with a new cancer, I can go up and initiate treatment that same day,” Guss said.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.