Pregnant with twins and diagnosed with breast cancer. Watch Austyn's story.
Virginia Mason Memorial has paved the way for cancer care in Central Washington for decades, offering the area's first cobalt therapy unit in 1968 and consistently adopting advancements in the diagnoses and treatment of cancer. We offer a wealth of ground-breaking technologies, leading clinical trials, and complementary services, right here, in Yakima.
Whether patients are receiving inpatient care at our hospital campus, oncology treatment at North Star Lodge, or women's health and mammography services at 'Ohana, our team of distinguished doctors and nurses is dedicated to providing treatment in a caring, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
Our physicians and staff understand that living with a chronic illness can be extremely difficult and challenging; our programs enable our staff to treat the whole person and their family, including emotional, spiritual, nutritional and pain management needs. Our progressive oncology team is continuously seeking innovative treatment opportunities to complement proven medical therapies.
"I never knew anyone who had cancer until I got it," she says. "I told the person who cuts my hair and she said, 'Oh yeah. I had it three times.'"Read More
Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. We understand this and has gone to great lengths to provide patients and their families with both the information and the treatment they need. We know how important it is for patients to understand what's happening to them, and our experienced staff is committed to helping patients and their families better understand their diagnosis and treatment options.
Our cancer care inpatient treatment includes a wide range of diagnostic, radiation, chemotherapy and surgical treatments for people with cancer, as well as radioactive seed implants and immunotherapy, when appropriate.
The inpatient oncology (cancer) unit is located on the second floor of the hospital and has 15 beds (private and semi-private). The unit also has heart monitors with telemetry support available, as well as pharmacy services.
Families are encouraged to visit, and the unit has a liberal visiting policy. Sleeper chairs are available for family members. The unit also offers music to enhance patient care. Home health, hospice and infusion therapy are available to our cancer patients when needed.
For the patient's convenience and well-being, Virginia Mason Memorial works together, so that transfers or referrals can be easily made from inpatient care to North Star Lodge, 'Ohana or our hospice care team should the need arise.
Combined, these services provide comprehensive cancer care that is among the finest in the nation. For cancer patients and their families, this offers hope indeed.
North Star Lodge
North Star Lodge offers comprehensive cancer care that is a step beyond many major medical centers in the United States, including well-known universities.
This leading cancer center provides complete outpatient oncology care, including a full complement of radiation therapy, medical oncology, chemotherapy and infusion care, in addition to imaging, laboratory and other diagnostic services. It offers an on-site pharmacy, as well as physical therapy and psychosocial services, including counseling, consultative and education services. It is no wonder patients from across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and the entire west coast have opted to receive treatment at North Star Lodge.
North Star Lodge has two Varian True Beam linear accelerators that use imaging with radiation for each treatment. This allow us to precisely deliver radiation to cancerous cells in a quarter of the time, reducing risk of harm for healthy cells.
See the accelerator in action.
Learn how this technology benefits our patients. Read More »
Pursuing a cure through clinical trials
Participating in clinical trials allows patients and their families access to the latest weapons in the fight to prevent and cure cancer. At any given time, Virginia Mason Memorial and North Star Lodge are participating in dozens of clinical trials for all types of cancer. Some trials are related to treatment, others to prevention and still others to enhance quality of life. Learn more information regarding clinical trials »
After cancer treatment, many patients find themselves suffering from serious side effects such as increased fatigue and reduced endurance, muscular wasting or weakness, depression, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and an overall diminished quality of life. Research shows that most of those symptoms can be reduced or eliminated with regular exercise.
The idea of using exercise as a rehabilitative tool for cancer survivors is relatively new. In fact, the program at North Star Lodge is one of only a handful of its type in the entire nation. And it's getting incredible results. From climbing stairs, to shopping, to taking part in activities with their families, class participants are enjoying a better quality of life.
'Ohana, Memorial's Mammography Center
Early detection remains a woman's best defense in the battle against breast cancer. Like all cancers, breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the body change and grow out of control. When problematic breast tissue cells are diagnosed early, the prognosis for cure is extremely high.
At 'Ohana, women find a comfortable and supportive setting, with caring staff and volunteers who together encourage all women to maintain regular mammograms and breast exams. Mammograms are the gold standard for detecting breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage. Breast ultrasound stereotactic or x-ray guided biopsy are also available at 'Ohana to detect cancer in its earliest stages.