New equipment being installed at New York Oncology Hematology’s Amsterdam facility will help patients from a broader geographic area receive high-tech cancer care closer to home.
The NYOH’s Amsterdam Cancer Center will be installing a Varian iX linear accelerator and a General Electric CT Simulator, gear that radiation oncologist Dr. Arsyl De Jesus likens to switching from a rear-view mirror on a car to a backup camera.
An investment of about $3 million into the facility is also good news for Amsterdam’s Riverfront Center, a former shopping mall that’s survived store closures by turning former retail space into professional offices.
The NYOH Amsterdam Center employs 29 people, including numerous physicians.
De Jesus said the new equipment pinpoints tumors better than current tools are able to.
The equipment will give doctors more precision when aiming radiation at the cancer, limiting ancillary damage that could occur around the cancer site and reducing the amount of radiation that’s needed.
Cancers that form in parts of the human body that have moving parts — like internal organs — are never fixed in place, De Jesus said. The new equipment includes “onboard imaging” that gives doctors aiming capabilities to “make sure we are exactly where we plan to be” before beaming radiation.
New York Oncology Hematology already has the upgraded equipment at its other centers further east. The addition in Amsterdam is expected to draw more patients who otherwise may have to travel to Utica or Cooperstown.
Elderly patients can find it difficult to travel miles away from home for treatment.
“That’s, I think, too much of a burden that this population should be put under. We want to continue providing the best care we can afford to provide closer to home,” De Jesus said.
New York Oncology Hematology first opened a site in Amsterdam in 1986 and moved to the Riverfront Center in 1999.
The firm offers treatment at locations in Albany, Hudson, Latham, Rexford and Troy.
U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, issued a statement last week praising the center’s community investment.
“Thanks to New York Oncology Hematology’s investment in its Amsterdam Cancer Center, more families will have convenient access to state-of-the-art cancer treatment right in our own community,” he said in the news release. “In addition to their major investment, we also recognize NYOH as a vital catalyst, spurring economic development through its planned improvements to Riverfront Center.”
Several other physicians attend to patients at the Amsterdam Cancer Center, including Robert H. Goslin, Lynn Tedesco and M. Siddique Tai.
These physicians will continue seeing both new and current patients at the Amsterdam Cancer Center. During construction, radiation patients will be served at the NYOH centers in Rexford and at Patroon Creek in Albany.
Renovations are scheduled to begin in March and finish in June.
People can learn more about the services at www.newyorkoncology.com.