Carle unveils state-of-the-art breast cancer facility

By Kate Szyszka

The Carle Cancer Center spent the better half of last week showing off the new addition to its treatment facility. The Mills Breast Cancer Institute, set to opens its doors this May, is located on the Carle Campus and features cutting-edge technology and innovative research facilities.

“(The institute) really evolved out a legacy, a dream that spawned from Linda and Doug Mills,” said Dr. Ronald Sapiente, head of radiation oncology at Carle Clinic. A $10 million donation from the Mills made the institute possible.

The Carle Cancer Center and the Mills Breast Cancer Institute are two separate facilities connected by an atrium at the center. The design of the atrium was carefully considered while constructing the facility.

“We wanted to give it a warm and inviting feel,” said Melissa Phillips, director of Carle Cancer Center.

Carle officials said a main goal in the construction was making it possible for patients to get everything they needed in one building. This includes the Arabella Boutique – which supplies patients with therapeutic products and fashion accessories for women with breast cancer – a conference room, meditation room and library.

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    The treatment options offered at the institute also surpass the technology formerly available in the area.

    “I think this is the best technology for quite a distance,” Sapiente said.

    The medical equipment now offered at Carle was formerly only available in large cities, Sapiente said. “Carle has always been ahead of the crowd in providing radiation technology,” he added.

    While planning the facility, Carle officials said they wanted to keep their strategy for treating patients from multiple medical perspectives in mind.

    These techniques include conducting research, medical treatment, prevention and diagnostic care.

    “This is a different approach to breast cancer care; this is a very different model from what we had in our community,” said Dr. Stephen Boppart, director of the Mills Institute, adding that the new approach will improve the lives of area women with breast cancer.