SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Mission Hope Cancer Center continues to be on the cutting edge of providing advanced treatment for its patients, especially those battling breast cancer.
"It's an exciting time with breast cancer treatment," said Dr. Ben Wilkinson, MD, FACRO. "We now know that there are certain parts of the body that we need to include in radiation mapping and treatment for breast cancer, and there's certain parts we can avoid."
Wilkinson, who joined Mission Hope earlier in the year, showed off new technology Thursday afternoon that is giving breast cancer patients world class treatment in Santa Maria.
"The breath hold technique, which we're able to allow women take a breath in and moves the chest wall up and away from the heart, as well as the surface mapping, the 3D mapping that allows us to make sure that once we plan a radiation case, women are going to be in the exact same position each day for that treatment," said Wilkinson. "We use the technology to accurately target the lymph nodes that are at risk, while pulling the radiation dose away parts of the body, like the heart and lung that we don't need to include in the radiation field."
According to Wilkinson, about 40 percent of Mission Hope patients are battling breast cancer, making the technology a much-needed addition to the 8-year-old cancer center.
"The benefit to patients is you can have the high level of cure, and we know that women are going to live a long time," said Wilkinson. "We want them to live free of heart disease, and free of any issues with the lung, so that's why using this technology that we have here at Mission Hope is so important."
Technology like this is purchased in part through community donations generated by the Day of Hope fundraiser.
"Day of Hope fundraising is something that will contribute to radiation technology here at Mission Hope," said Wilkinson. "Having the technology and the multidisciplinary cancer center here in our community, allows patients to get world class care with traveling outside of the area."
The 7th Annual Day of Hope is scheduled for Aug. 26 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Due to COVID-19, the popular fundraiser will look much different than in year's past.
The one-day event will not feature teams of volunteers selling special edition Santa Maria Times newspapers on street corners.
Instead, there will be a "Cruising for a Cause" car parade that starts at the Santa Maria Fairpark at 11 a.m. and will conclude at Mission Hope.
In addition to the car parade, in-person donations will accepted at Mission Hope during the time of the fundraiser.
Anyone who makes a donation there will receive a special edition Santa Maria Times newspaper.
For those who donate online, they will be able to view an exclusive electronic version of the special edition newspaper.
"This is a great opportunity in our community, and particularly, Santa Maria, which has been so supportive of Mission Hope," said Dr. Robert Dichmann, Mission Hope Medical Director. "I think this is our opportunity for us to continue to do that. It's different date, but it's an opportunity nonetheless, probably a needier time than most with the current pandemic and people being in a different situation, but our message is go out there and contribute any way you can."
For more information about the event, or how to donate, click here.