New St. Charles cancer center to meet growing demand

Work underway on facility to open next year

POSTED: 7:18 PM PDT September 25, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

Just a few weeks ago, a ground breaking ceremony was held for the new St. Charles Bend cancer center. It's a building that has everything under one roof, and can accommodate a projected increase in cancer patients.

"Right now, we have radiation oncology and medical oncology in two different buildings," said Dr. Linyee Chang,  medical director for the St. Charles Cancer Center.

For many years, St. Charles cancer patients have had to travel between two locations for treatment, but both facilities are starting to outgrow the demand.

St. Charles-Bend sees 1,000 cancer patients a year, but by 2025, that number is expected to increase to 1,600.

"Our numbers are just going to increase because of the nature of our population," Chang said. "In Central Oregon, the demographics tell us that our fastest-growing population is in those over the age of 65."

Cancer is associated with aging. Statistics show one in four women over the age of 70 will be diagnosed with cancer. For men, it's one in three.

So with Central Oregon's population expected to double by 2025, it's the perfect time to build a bigger and better cancer center.

"All of the patient infusion chairs will be facing this window with this panoramic view, and so it's all part of the patient center design for this healing heath care vision we have," said Chang.

Also in that vision, integrative oncology services like massage, acupuncture and Reiki therapy.

Although St. Charles predicts the increase in cancer patients, it continues to take steps to try and prevent cancer on the High Desert.

The new cancer center will allow them to expand those prevention services as well.

Construction has already started on the new cancer center, and the hospital expects the building to be complete by next summer.

The hospital has not raised all the money they need for the new cancer center. If you would like to donate you can do so at foundation.stcharleshealthcare.org or you can call to make a donation appointment at 541-706-6996.