St. Luke’s Nassif Radiation Center makes high quality advanced cancer treatment more convenient, at a lower-cost.
Lee Overton admits he might not have agreed to radiation treatment for his prostate cancer if it weren’t for the new St. Luke’s Nassif Radiation Center. But once he began treatment shortly after the center opened, Overton says,“I actually looked forward to going every day!” Overton, 77, of Hiawatha, had been monitored for elevated PSA levels—the test that detects prostate cancer—for several years. When his PSA number rose in early 2014, Overton’s urologist, with Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, Thomas Richardson, performed a biopsy that confirmed early stage prostate cancer. After discussing treatment options with Dr. Richardson, Overton elected to take a wait-and-see approach known as active surveillance. In 2015, his PSA jumped again and Dr. Richardson suggested Overton begin radiation treatment.
“I decided radiation therapy was a good thing to do,” says Overton. “It was low risk, with fewer side effects, and the new radiation center made it convenient. I just had to go down the hall.”
Overton was one of the Radiation Center’s first patients when he began treatment in November 2015. “The whole thing was great,” he raves. “It was so handy, starting with the parking being so close.”
St. Luke’s Nassif Radiation Center allows patients to receive treatment locally as part of the coordinated care offered by the Community Cancer Center. Kimberly Ivester, director at the Community Cancer Center, says housing the Radiation Center inside the PCI Medical Pavilion, which is already home to the Community Cancer Center, puts all the care a patient with cancer needs in one convenient location. She adds, “Our patients now stay with one care team from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.”
Another benefit of the Radiation Center: It saves the patient money. Ivester explains when services are considered freestanding instead of hospital-based there is a lower cost to the patient and their insurance company. Treatment at the Radiation Center can lower out-of-pocket costs for patients by 20 to 50 percent. Notes Ivester, “That’s something we see as critical in delivering lower cost, higher quality cancer care. Patients need to play an active role in their health care decisions, that includes what the cost of their care will be.”
Lee Overton is pleased his treatment with the TrueBeam™ Linear Accelerator, which offers pinpoint accuracy to minimize damage to healthy tissue, resulted in few side effects. In fact, Overton says the entire experience couldn’t have been better. “My nurse, Stephanie, was very professional and so much fun! And the follow-through was wonderful. From the welcoming greeting at the door to the way they were always on time, I’ve never been to a doctor’s office so well run!”
For more information about St. Luke’s Radiation Center go to unitypoint.org/radiation.