JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – The latest system to deliver radiation from inside the breast will expand on the full spectrum of breast cancer services through Johnstown’s Conemaugh Memorial Medical Centers, with a growing outreach into the larger region.

Under Dr. Ali Tunio’s leadership, the Conemaugh Cancer Center radiation oncology program is introducing brachytherapy to the Johnstown area.

The system uses a device inserted into the area where the tumor was removed with a lumpectomy. The applicator has tiny wires that deliver radiation precisely tuned for each patient, Tunio said.

While the radiation and medical oncology programs remain in Memorial’s main Franklin Street campus, the bulk of breast cancer diagnostic work and follow-up care is done at Conemaugh East Hills. The facility at 1450 Scalp Ave. in Richland Township includes the women’s imaging center managed by Conemaugh Advanced Imaging.

The center features all diagnosis and screening technology systems used in breast cancer, with a nurse navigator service to guide breast cancer patients through the labyrinth of tests, follow-ups and treatments.

Breast imaging radiologist Dr. Kristy Wolfel at East Hills uses the technology for diagnosis and image-guided biopsies.

Breast surgeon Dr. Renée Arlow’s office with exam rooms is also in the East Hills facility.

Patients like the convenience and are happy with the program, nurse navigator Melissa Felton said.

“We get tons and tons of compliments on the staff,” Felton said.

“They like the fact that we are all under one roof. Dr. Arlow is right in this building. We work hand-in-hand with her.”

Arlow and breast surgeon Dr. Patti Ann Stefanick do procedures at Memorial’s main campus, which also is home to the Conemaugh Cancer’s medical oncology program, with oncologists Ibrahim Sbeitan and Sheetal Higbee.

New outpatient centers opened in the past two years in Ebensburg and Somerset, providing one-stop locations for outpatient care. Both offer 3-D mammography for annual screenings.

A smaller outpatient center is under construction in Cresson. Hospital leaders have not listed the services planned for that facility.

Conemaugh also offers mammography at Conemaugh East Hills in Richland Township, Memorial Medical Center’s main campus in Johnstown, Miners Medical Center in Hastings, Nason Medical Center in Roaring Spring and Meyersdale Medical Center.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @Photo- Griffer57.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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