PUHI — Kaua‘i’s first cancer radiation center on Kaua‘i opened this month in Puhi, providing patients on-island service instead of having to fly to O‘ahu and the Neighbor Islands.
“I felt bad that people were traveling far away for radiation,” said Dr. Saleem Mahmood, radiation oncologist and one of the owners of Kaua‘i Oncology.
He said that added to the treatment is “the flying, and going to another city, staying there and coming back.”
Mahmood found out about this at a 2006 conference at a Princeville resort.
It took him a while to get a certificate of need, he said, partly because he traveled from Illinois, where he has three other radiation clinics.
Kaua‘i Oncology is equipped with Aria, Eclipse and a 21 EX radiation machine capable of performing 3-D, IMRT, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, GRD Image Guided radiation therapy and radio surgery.
Radiation therapy delivers the treatment precisely to the tumor or tumor area, said Mahmood. In chemotherapy, the drugs are delivered through the system in the body, whether injected or in pill form, he said.
Kaua‘i Oncology’s full-time doctor, Dr. Juliet Seigle, will begin seeing patients on Sept. 15 after moving to Kaua‘i from Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. She is board certified in radiation oncology and has a background as a neurosurgeon.
Mahmood and Dr. Rudolph Varesko, also a board certified radiation oncologist, will be seeing patients at the center until she arrives.
Mahmood, who is originally from Pakistan, attended medical school in the Dominican Republic, did his residency in internal medicine at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., and did his residency in radiation oncology in Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. He is board certified in internal medicine and radiation oncology and has been practicing in the U.S. for 15 years, he said.
The other two owners are Dr. Michael G. Bea of Missouri, and Dr. Vahir Ansari of Illinois.
The new building is at 4388 Pahee St., and was built by Unlimited Construction.
“Healing is so much easier when you can be at home with your support system surrounding you. We are honored to be the contractor that built this oncology facility for Kaua‘i,” Unlimited’s president Jay Manzano said.