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Lewes, Delaware
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February 21, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 21, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, February 21- February 27, 1997 - 31 Tunnell Cancer Center makes a big hit in first year As Beebe Medical Center's first oncology nurse, Doris Hatfield knows progress when she sees it. Now, as a patient in the hospi- tal's Robert and Eolyne Turmoil Cancer Center, Hatfield is seeing fast hand the benefits of Sussex County's fast full-service cancer facility. In its fnt year of operation, the Tunnell Cancer Center has brought a level of service to Sus- sex County for which residents previously had to travel as far as Wilmington. "We're lucky to have such a fa- cility in the area," Hatfield said. Since the opening of the center, patients can receive radiation treatment and chemotherapy in one facility - an important boost for an increasing number of pa- tients whose treatment program includes both. For Charles Laws, that means being able to continue in his job as a truck driver. Laws, diagnosed with stomach cancer in Novem- ber, praised the convenience of the center and the compassion of its staff. "When I fast came here, I was kind of nervous," he said. But as the staff explained exactly how they would treat his cancer, he be- gan to relax. Now, the George- town resident can come in after work and receive his radiation treatment, which takes about 15 minutes. After resting a few min- utes, he leaves with a plastic bag containing his chemotherapy treatment, which he administers himself. "I didn't think I could do it," he said, "but they walked me through it the first time and then it was easy." On an average day, about 30 people receive radiation treat- merits at the Tunnell Cancer Cen- ter. Since Beebe's chemotherapy program moved to its new loca- tion in the Tunnell Cancer Center, the number of patients using it as increased substantially. "We know there was a need for this type of program, " said Joy Bartell, R.N., manager of the can- How MVSCLgS GET STRONG: REPS VERSUS WEIGErr Lifting moderate weights (50 to 70 percent of maximum amount you can lift) many times primarily builds muscle endurance. Life a heavy weight (more than 75 per- cent of your maximum lift) a few times primarily to increase muscle strength. Submined by Robert Cairo, licensed physical therapist, Tidewater Physical Therapy, 945-5111. cer center. At least four years of planning went into the final prod- uct, including surveys of patients to see what they wanted in a can- cer facility. The result is a state-of-the-art facility that combines the latest in technology with a well trained staff in a comfortable setting de- signed to put patients at ease. A testament to patient satisfac- tion in the facility is the fact that 95 percent of the patients whose cancers are diagnosed at Beebe stay at the Tunnell Cancer Center for their treatment, according to its medical oncology director Sri- haft Peri, M.D.. Mary McCoach has been com- ing to Beebe for seven years for treatment of a fibrous bone mar- row condition which led to leukemia. She spends about five hours each week in the chemotherapy treatment room, where she receives blood transfu- sions. The Oak Orchard resident said the comfortable surroundings make her feel like "queen for a day" and that the pretty furnish- ings and the sunlight filled chemotherapy room remind her of "fresh sheets off the line." "I don't think it could be any better, myself, " McCoach said. "It certainly couldn't be more convenient. The whole unit is wonderful." Peri supervises the center's medical oncology program, while Andrejs Strauss, M.D., director of radiation oncology, oversees the radiation oncology program. They are joined by Robert Hogan, M.D., oncologist, who specializes in medical oncology, and a team of nurses and technicians. Having specialists in both types of treatment "has been a real plus," Strauss said. In addition to daily consultations, weekly con- ferences allow all the physicians involved in treatment at the center to discuss cases in detail and to plan each patient's treatment to- gether. "All of the standard treatments available are being done here," as well as some experimental treat- ments done in cooperation with the Medical Center of Delaware, Peri said. For patients receiving radiation, the first stop is the center's "simu- lation" facility, where lead "blocks" are specially made to keep the radiation from entering parts of the body not affected by the cancer. Down the hall, an education room is stocked with videos and other sources of information that staff members often use to help patients understand the treatments they are about to undergo. This room is also sometimes used for consultations with a staff dietitian, Bartell said. Haffield, who worked at Beebe from 1980 to 1989, remembers a time when there was no oncolo- world of business is ruthless, cruel and cut-throat. Do you have the heart for it? TI Firm Heollh Club, Inc.lbs.  One On One Pemonalized Training Carc,ovaular CondlUoning Diet Counseling Camelot Shopping Center (302) 227-8363 gist on the staff, when a cancer specialist from Wilmington came to Beebe once a week. "It was a long time coming, but it was well worth it," Hatfield said of the Tunnell Cancer Center. "I feel like we've come a long way, baby," she said. 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