Piedmont Fayette adds new technology to cancer services

Tue, 03/25/2008 - 2:31pm
By: The Citizen

Oncology patients can now receive treatment close to home

Piedmont Fayette is expanding its cancer services, and soon cancer patients can receive treatment closer to home. Piedmont Fayette Hospital (PFH) has received approval to provide radiation therapy. The Certificate of Need (CON) application for a linear accelerator was recently approved by the Georgia Department of Community Health, Division of Health Planning.

"This community needs and deserves quality radiation oncology services close to home," said Darrell Cutts, president and CEO of Piedmont Fayette Hospital. "We are now looking forward to providing this much-needed service to our patients who won't have to travel great distances for a stressful, prolonged daily treatment regimen."

Nearly two years ago, Piedmont Fayette Hospital filed a CON application to add radiation therapy services to their portfolio of oncology services. While the CON meets Department of Community Health numerical need projections, as with all CON applications it is subject to appeal. In this case the approval process has been held up by an out-of-county competitor appealing the decision and delaying the Piedmont Fayette Hospital request. Patients undergoing this type of radiation treatment currently have limited options and must travel out of their community driving for 30 minutes to an hour each way and then spend at least 30 minutes of time within the actual treatment facility. This time commitment can be daily for several weeks and is not only inconvenient for patients and their families but can also impact the continuity of care.

A linear accelerator, the technology used in radiation therapy, kills or shrinks cancer cells. Radiation therapy is the primary form of treatment for some types of cancer. In other cases, it is used in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapy. This therapy is given on consecutive days over a four- to six-week period for patients suffering from breast cancer as well as other types of cancer.

"Rapid and recent advances in radiation technology make this an important investment, and it will help to provide a comprehensive continuum of oncology care for our patients," said Jonathan Bender, MD, of Peachtree Hematology Oncology Consultants and PFH Cancer Committee Chairman. "Fortunately now, our patients will have access to this important radiation therapy close to home."

Piedmont Fayette Hospital's range of oncology services from diagnosis, medical and surgical oncology, rehabilitative therapy services as well as nutritional, spiritual and support groups. For more information about Piedmont Fayette Hospital, visitwww.fayettehospital.org.

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