Improvements At Ogdensburg Hospital Help Treat Cancer

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In the three years that radiation oncologist Dr. John Gebert has been director of Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center's Cancer Treatment Center, the number of patients seeking treatment has grown as have new medical technologies and capabilities.

"We're treating more individual sites - for example, head and neck cancers, brain cancers, lung cancers, abdominal cancers, prostate cancers - with this modality than any other hospital locally," said Dr. Gebert.

Workers at the center in Ogdensburg are looking forward to a more than $4 million expansion now underway.

Plans call for the addition of a second and more powerful linear accelerator to treat cancer patients with higher radiation doses and shorter treatment times.

"It's like doing surgery to an area without using a knife because it obliterates the tumor locally without having to be invasive and open the patient up with an incision," said Dr. Gebert.

Radiation therapist Shauna Halpin says cancer patients she works with typically require six weeks or more of radiation treatments.

Once the new equipment is on line, patients will have another weapon in their fight against cancer that should help speed up their recovery.

"It'll be nice for the patients to be able to come for maybe a week versus eights weeks, six weeks," said Halpin.

Work on the 3,200-square-foot expansion is expected to be completed within six to eight months.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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