Local cancer center treats more than 7,000 patients a year

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The D'Amour Center for Cancer Care is celebrating 15 years of serving patients in the Pioneer Valley.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The D’Amour Center houses Baystate’s regional cancer program, and with the buildings opening back in 2004, it became one of the first hospitals to have a free-standing facility devoted entirely to cancer patients.

Doctors, donors, and former patients were at the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care to celebrate more than a decade of delivering care to patients in the pioneer valley. Visitors were able to take tours of the state of the art facility and hear from former patients, like Dawn Lapierre, a Belchertown resident who is in remission from ovarian cancer.

Lapierre said, “I was actually diagnosed at a late stage, and I had the opportunity to be part of a clinical trial. My status today is I’m in remission, I’ve been in remission since 2011 once I had my surgery and my treatment. I think people don’t really realize you can get the best care here right in your community.”

Today, Baystate’s regional cancer program continues to grow, and quite a few people come to the D’Amour Center for treatment every year.

Dr. Wilson Mertens, vice president, and medical director of cancer services told 22News, “Now, 7,000 patients get some sort of service in this building every year, and that’s one percent of the population of the three counties that make up the pioneer valley every year.”

The treatment center was made possible in part by the D’Amour family, the owners of Big Y Supermarkets.

Elizabeth D’Amour said, “We’d run into people, and they’d say are you part of the Big Y D’Amour? And I would say yep, that’s us. Now, it’s like D’Amour, are you part of the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care? And I say yep, that would be us too.”

Parts of the center continues to expand.

By the end of the summer, they plan to nearly double their number of chemotherapy chairs.

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