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Proposed cancer center for Lahaina pitfalls loom

Regarding the proposed Maui Cancer Center for Lahaina: If I were a cancer patient, I would be very hesitant to go to a privately owned and operated for-profit cancer not affiliated with a hospital and/or medical school.

It takes a large base of knowledge and expertise to stay current with the latest treatments, and a lot of money to stay current with the latest equipment.

The for-profit aspect scares me, because oncologists have steered patients into certain chemotherapy drugs that were profitable to them, but not optimal for the patient. Furthermore, I’d be concerned that the radiologist heading the center might steer patients into radiology treatments when other treatments might suit them better.

Another concern, mentioned in the article, is that the proposed cancer center may divert limited resources away from the existing non-profit Pacific Cancer Institute, which does radiation treatments next to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

If a cancer center is needed in Lahaina so that patients don’t need to drive to Wailuku for treatments, I would suggest that the Maui Memorial Medical Center open a branch office in Lahaina, for chemotherapy and infusions (which are more portable), possibly in conjunction with PCI for radiation treatments.

Furthermore, to improve their quality of care, MMMC and PCI could work together to become certified as an NCI (National Cancer Institute) Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is the highest cancer center certification there is.

Amy Burwen

Kula

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