broke ground this week on a expansion project that will increase the size of its cancer center by nearly 25 percent.
The hospital in Mt. Lebanon is building a new area for a “linear accelerator” that will be housed in a vault with 84-inch thick walls. The building will expand the existing 8,000-square-foot cancer center by an additional 1,885-square-feet.
A backhoe began digging Tuesday next to the current UPMC/St. Clair Hospital Cancer Center and the project is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.
“When the renovation and the addition of the new linear accelerator are completed, the center will offer even more advance services and increased patient access,” said Dr. Robert Werner, who is a radiation oncologist at the center.
A linear accelerator delivers high-energy x-rays to a patient’s tumor without damaging other nearby tissue, according to a St. Clair Hospital press release. This is the second such device the hospital will have at the facility, which uses advanced imaging to target specific areas and organs inside the body.
Hospital spokesman Bob Crytzer said the 9-year-old Cancer Center treats about 50 patients a day with the existing linear accelerator.
“When the second linear accelerator is operational this summer, the number of patients treated per day will at least double,” he said.
The center is located next to the upper parking lot next to the main entrance, and can be accessed by patients on the fourth floor of the building.