Cancer center is just down the road
Editor’s Note: A story in the Monday issue of the Post Independent about the Valley View Hospital Foundation’s efforts to raise money for stereotactic biopsy equipment contained misleading information about the availability of the procedure in the region. This story is intended to clarify that such a procedure is available without going to Denver or Grand Junction. The Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards also offers radiation therapy, which is also not available at Valley View Hospital.For women needing a breast biopsy and who wish a less invasive procedure than the traditional surgery, the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards is a relatively short trip. The center, part of the Vail Valley Medical Center, offers stereotactic breast biopsy, in which breast tissue is removed with a needle.”Many of the Glenwood and Aspen doctors refer patients to us,” said Dr. Patricia Hardenbergh, medical director of the center.The Sonnenalp Breast diagnostic Imaging Center at Shaw offers “full field” digital mammography, as well as ultrasound. “It’s as complete as the Sally Job (breast cancer center in Denver),” said Tracy Samdahl, business manager of the Shaw Center, which opened in July 2001. Sonnenalp opened in October 2002.Shaw is a complete cancer center, Samdahl explained, and offers state-of-the-art radiation therapy.”It’s a very precise way of delivering radiation therapy,” Samdahl said.”We do both highly technical radiation therapy called IMRT and recently added HDR, high dose radiation therapy that … decreases therapy from six weeks to one week,” Hardenbergh said. “We’re trying to build a very sophisticated program. It’s a unique kind of place and pretty much the best kept secret (in the region).”While Shaw draws patients from across the Western Slope, 23 percent come from Garfield County, Samdahl added.Shaw also offers free housing for out-of-town patients, which Vail Resorts donates. The Shaw Outreach Team is now raising $3.5 million to build a Cancer Caring House on the center’s campus. People have already pledged more than $2 million.Shaw, as a smaller regional center, prides itself on personalized care for the cancer patient.Shaw Regional Cancer Center is at 322 Beard Creek Road in Edwards. For information, call 569-7429.
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