Centre expands options for cancer patients

A $60-million expansion to the Central Alberta Cancer Centre in Red Deer will allow most people needing radiation to receive it locally once the new facilities open in 2012.

Artist's rendering shows in yellow where proposed new cancer centre will fit on the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre site.

A $60-million expansion to the Central Alberta Cancer Centre in Red Deer will allow most people needing radiation to receive it locally once the new facilities open in 2012.

Concept plans are expected to be complete by the end of the year with construction starting in 2010.

The Central Alberta Cancer Centre, located on the west side of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, will be more than three times its current size once the work is complete — moving from 1,025 square metres to 3,810 square metres.

Research shows that around half of people diagnosed with cancer can benefit from radiation therapy, said Kerry Toll, director of the radiation therapy corridor project team under Alberta Health Services — Cancer Care. Currently, Central Albertans needing radiation therapy have to go to either the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary or the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.

Once the expansion is complete, between 75 to 80 per cent of people will be able to get the radiation therapy they need in Red Deer for common forms of cancer, including breast, prostate, gastrointestinal, urinary system cancers and palliative treatments to manage pain. Other rarer forms of cancer will still be treated in Edmonton or Calgary, including pediatric and cancers in the head or neck.

Toll said the purpose of the project is to improve access for patients.

“It is a huge improvement because many of the patients have to attend 10 to 20 sessions (of radiation therapy),” Toll said.

“That means that if they’re staying over, some are away from home for a long time or there is a lot of travel back and forth and patients are often unwell and fragile. So it is a huge benefit for Central Alberta.”

The new facilities will also mean the centre will be able to treat more people. In 2007-2008, there were 540 new patients accepted by the centre. That capacity will move to 900 new patients by 2012 when the new areas open.

The radiation therapy corridor project started in 2007 as a joint project between the federal and provincial governments to shorten wait times for radiation therapy and includes projects in Red Deer, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie. The provincial government has put $49 million towards facility development and construction of the Red Deer project with the federal government putting a little over $11 million for equipment and furnishings for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre. The Central Alberta Cancer Centre first opened in November 1982, moving to its present location in 2005.

Alberta Health Services recently chose Stuart Olson Constructors as the construction manager, working in partnership with HFKS Architects Inc. to expand the Central Alberta Cancer Centre. The plan is to build the structure to a LEED silver rating, with developers looking at possibly having a green roof, rain water collection, high-efficiency mechanical heating and cooling systems and extra insulation.

The project will include three radiation vaults — with walls 1.5 to 1.8 metres thick — to treat patients. Two of the vaults will be fully equipped from the start and the third will be for expansion. As well, the facility will have outpatient clinics, a medical day unit with beds and chairs for chemotherapy or other treatments, pharmacy services for preparation and dispensing of cancer medication and areas for other support services.

Toll said the facility is designed to accommodate the needs of Central Albertans to at least 2020 or possibly even to 2025.


Just Posted

Chemical analysis may provide clues to cause of huge Red Deer industrial fire

Fire on April 17 caused $9 million in damage to oil and gas industrial building

New loonie reason to celebrate and educate: central Alberta LGBTQ community

The new LGBTQ2 loonie is a conversation starter and a reason to… Continue reading

C & E Trail property owner wants to use land as RV storage yard

Red Deer city council gives initial approval

Indigenous cultural centre needed in Red Deer

Urban Aboriginal Voices Society hosts annual community gathering

Red Deer youth recognized for his compassion

Blackfalds man dies after vehicle collision

MISSING: Joshua Arthur Sanford

37-year-old Ponoka man last seen on Tuesday morning

Inspired by a galaxy far, far away, these ‘Star Wars’ mementos could be yours forever

CHICAGO —The stuff of “Star Wars” —and there is unfortunately no better… Continue reading

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

TORONTO — Medical cannabis users in Alberta can now get their therapeutic… Continue reading

Taylor Drive honours legacy of outstanding community volunteer

The main roadway going north and south on the west side of… Continue reading

Oh, yes! Nurse, Raptors look to finish series with Magic

DENVER — In response to an early call, Toronto coach Nick Nurse… Continue reading

Delay of game calls, goalie interference top worst rules for NHLers: survey

The pace and excitement of 3-on-3 overtime isn’t just a thrill for… Continue reading

Avengers get epic send-off at ‘Endgame’ world premiere

LOS ANGELES — There were more than a few sniffles from the… Continue reading

Writers’ Trust launches program pairing rising writers with established mentors

TORONTO — The Writers’ Trust has launched a program that gives five… Continue reading

Most Read