Watch: Camille Ross speaks to Dr. Armen Aprikian, Medical Director of the MUHC Cancer Care Mission, about the new Cedars Cancer Centre
Montreal – As a cancer patient at the MUHC, it’s not uncommon to have surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital then head to the Montreal General for radiation therapy and perhaps back to the Royal Victoria for a follow-up with your oncologist.
Dr. Armen Aprikian, Chief of Oncology and Urology and Medical Director of the MUHC Cancer Care Mission says this whole back and forth for patients is coming to an end.
“The design at the new Cedars Centre really brings all the services, activities and professionals around the patient,” Aprikian told Global’s Morning News anchor Camille Ross.
“It’ll be the house where patients will have most of their services, meet their professionals, nurses, all under one roof.”
The Cedars Cancer Centre is a three-story building that makes of part of the Glen site .
It has its own dedicated entrance and drop-off zone as well as an ambulance bay.
The 13,000 square-metre facility will have a dedicated test centre where cancer patients can have their blood tests done.
“Patients don’t have to go to the main test centre of the overall hospital. We’re all housed in the same area,” said Aprikian.
” Our ability to discuss a particular patient’s care is enhanced which leads to better outcomes.”
There will also be a satellite pharmacy and an urgent care centre so patients who are experiencing complications don’t have to go to the emergency room.
New, more patient-friendly spaces
The new space is bigger so patients can be with family members.
“These patients are the sickest,” said Aprikian.
“When patients feel better they tolerate their treatment better.”
With that in mind, the Centre includes features such as healing green spaces, a tranquillity garden and lots of natural light – for example, the chemotherapy treatment bay has large windows that overlook the gardens.
“We also have an Adult Resource Centre for those needing to access key health information or support groups,” mentioned Julie Paquet from the MUHC communications team.
Seven new radiation therapy machines will be available for oncology treatments at the Centre.
One of them is the CyberKnife M6.
It is the first of its generation to be installed in Canada, providing a more precise treatment and less side effects.
“With brain cancer patients, you want to be able to delineate and treat with radiation in a very precise fashion and avoid treating other parts of the brain,” said Aprikian.
Contrary to regular machines, which are static, the CyberKnife moves around patients, accessing hard-to-reach areas with little effect on nearby healthy organs and cells while also giving patients a non-surgical treatment option.
Opening its doors in April
The Cedars Cancer Centre will first to open its doors to patients transferring over from the Royal Victoria Hospital on April 26.
It will be fully operational on June 14 when the majority of oncology services from the Montreal General Hospital transfer over.
Patient transfer dates
Royal Victoria will transfer on April 26
Montreal Children’s Hospital will transfer on May 24
Montreal Chest Institute and some services from the Montreal General Hospital will transfer on June 14
More on the move
Visit muhc.ca/2015 to access an online directory that tells you exactly when your clinic is closing, where it is moving to, and when it is reopening.
Do you have more questions?
The MUHC will host a live tweet chat on April 8 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Follow @cums_muhc or tweet #MUHC2015 to join the conversation.