An anniversary passed last Sunday that deserves to be noted. It was 18 years ago that Dr. Bobby Baker opened the Pacific Cancer Institute.
Today the institute is nearing completion of a $7 million expansion that will give it new space for a TrueBeam STx system that allows for delivery of precise doses of radiation to cancerous organs.
The expansion also allows for more examining rooms and doctors' offices.
Three years ago, we wrote about its 15th anniversary:
Before Dr. Baker opened the institute, patients had to fly to Honolulu to receive radiation oncology. Since its opening on Sept. 16, 1994, the institute has treated over 4,300 patients, keeping them from having to leave the island for treatment.
Almost all of us have family members or close friends who have had cancer. It is the most dreaded of diagnoses and the scariest of diseases. The comfort of undergoing treatment at home can't be overstated. As Dr. Baker told the Maui News:
"It has been overwhelming at times during the past 15 years to see how many lives have been affected by cancer. It never ceases to amaze me how grateful patients are to get to stay at home in their own bed during this critical time when being with your family has its own special healing power."
Since treatment typically takes six to eight weeks, there is not only the comfort of treatment on Maui, but also a significant cost savings by having the institute here.
So, Dr. Baker, congratulations on your anniversary. . . . You and your staff do the work of angels and you truly are heroes in our midst.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.