Health & Fitness

Merced cancer center relocates to bigger location

A local cancer center is relocating to a new site that will make patients feel at home.

El Portal Comprehensive Cancer Center will start seeing patients at its new location, 3303 M St. on Feb. 4, said Dr. Alireza Mahmoudieh, radiation oncologist at El Portal. The new 10,000-square-foot facility has state-of-the-art equipment and additional space, which will allow the center to expand its services and treat more patients.

Also, an improvement that has staff excited at the new facility is natural light. The prior office on G Street was located in a basement, and of course, it had no windows. "We wanted to make it more homie," Mahmoudieh said.

There are also plans to offer a more comprehensive care, meaning they hope to have all the services a cancer patient needs in one place. The new facility will have its own pharmacy and imaging center, he said.

Mahmoudieh said they also hope to be able to perform small surgical procedures at the new facility. He said he's adding two surgeons -- one that will focus on female patients and a general surgeon.

Among the treatments that the center offers is brachytherapy, which is a form of radiotherapy that delivers radiation near or right in the area that needs to be treated. Mahmoudieh said they have treated about 30 breast cancer patients with brachytherapy and their treatment was reduced to five days from seven weeks.

"You don't have to go to academic centers for state-of-the-art treatment," he said.

-- Yesenia Amaro Health care reporter