There’s a buzz in the air at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Cancer Center in Bellingham. Three new radiation oncologists joined the staff this past spring along with new state-of-the-art radiation equipment.
Doctors Victor Gonzalez, Lisa Hazard and Andrea Arnett joined PeaceHealth as part of PeaceHealth’s ongoing commitment to offering comprehensive cancer care of the highest quality in one convenient location. They will serve on multidisciplinary teams of specialists and support professionals dedicated to delivering the most appropriate treatment for each cancer patient.
Bringing in Experience
The new oncologists bring extensive experience treating various cancers using the latest technologies and treatments.
- Victor Gonzalez, MD, offers the optimal treatment technique that best suits individual patients’ needs. His research includes investigating novel approaches for breast radiotherapy and methods for reducing toxicity from treatments.
- Lisa Hazard, MD, is experienced in treating all types of cancer using state-of-the-art technologies, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy and image-guided radiation therapy. She believes in educating patients about the effectiveness and side effects of treatment options so that they can make informed decisions.
- Andrea Arnett, MD, PhD, strives to help patients feel empowered and connected to their healthcare team. Her practice areas are gastrointestinal, gynecological and central nervous system malignancies, focusing on brain metastases. She has experience working closely with other practitioners in complementary and integrative medicine.
“We’re excited to welcome Drs. Gonzalez, Hazard and Arnett to our team,” said Christine Cha, MD, PeaceHealth System Medical Director, Cancer Service Line. “The community will certainly benefit from their innovation, expertise and compassionate care.”
The Latest in Radiation Treatment
A recently installed linear accelerator (LINAC) machine will provide the latest in radiation treatment. The TrueBeam LINAC is a highly versatile technology that gives radiation oncologists the ability to tailor radiation therapy treatments for each patient’s condition. The machine shapes the beam to match the 3D shape of the tumor and features real-time imaging allowing clinicians to treat tumors with accuracy measured in submillimeters. It generates 3D images in 60% less time than other imaging technologies. It also has the potential for a 25% reduction in X-ray dose for the patient.
“With the new LINAC machine, we are giving our patients the best, most advanced care possible,” said Dr. Cha. “Patients do not need to leave our community to get the treatment they need. Our entire team at the Cancer Center is here to provide medical and emotional support to patients through the challenges associated with a cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.”
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Cancer Center
In addition to the new linear accelerator, PeaceHealth St. Joseph has invested significant resources to grow its Cancer Center. Patients will find upgraded, same-day lab results, more staff to help them navigate their diagnoses and greater capacity for infusion services. These investments, supported by a dedicated team of Cancer Center clinicians, therapists and other caregivers, ensure patients get the best possible care close to home.