Mark Twain opens cancer center

Written by Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat March 20, 2013 08:00 am

Chemotherapy patients throughout Calaveras County can receive care closer to home with the opening of the Mark Twain Medical Center’s new cancer center.

Up and running for about two months, the 3,000-square-foot office adjacent to the main hospital building in San Andreas, hosted a grand opening ceremony Tuesday.

“When folks get cancer, the last thing they want to do is travel long distances out of the county to see a doctor,” said MTMC President Craig Marks. “As you look around at this facility, I think you’ll see that it’s top-notch.”

The Cancer Center director is Robert D’Acquisito, formerly of the Sonora Regional Cancer Center, and a 25-year veteran in the oncology field in the Sierra foothills and Central Valley.

The new clinic features an outpatient chemotherapy and infusion center, D’Acquisito said, and is set up for blood and platelet transfusions as well as infusions for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. There are two exam rooms and a larger one for procedures such as bone marrow transplants and lumbar punctures, he said.

For patients’ comfort, its massage recliner chairs are heated.

The center does not offer radiation services, D’Acquisito said, but makes referrals and partners with nearby Sonora Regional, St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton and Ben Schaffer Cancer Institute in Lodi.

A fountain water feature inside the clinic is inscribed in memory of Catherine Cornish, a 38-year-old Angels Camp woman who died Feb. 28 after a years-long public battle with skin cancer, during which she blogged and reached out to the community for educational and inspirational purposes. It also honors Cornish’s parents, MTMC Vice President Larry Cornish and his wife, Diane, of Murphys.