Queen's Medical Center Makes Strides in Cancer Treatment

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death in Hawaii, but treatment continues to improve.

Just last year, the state celebrated the opening of a brand new cancer center at Queen's Medical Center.

It's a facility, cancer patients describe as a one stop shop for all of their medical needs.

Walking through these doors into the cancer center was not easy for Colette McMonigle.

"It was very devastating, very devastating I thought that my life had just ended," McMonigle said.

Diagnosed with breast cancer, Colette was one of the first patients to receive treatment at the facility which opened last fall.

"It's not like you're in a big room with 50 other people," McMonigle said. "With the treatments that they have today and the people at the cancer center, and the warmth is what you need."

A warm and comforting atmosphere is created by vibrant images. The picturesque scenes covering the walls of the waiting room are all meant to alleviate any stress patients may be feeling as they come in for treatments.

The center is also designed so patients can find everything they need in one place.

"Queen's has always had the committment and we've always had the great physicians in place. We've always had the great technology in place, but we've never had the hub," said Patient Care Vice President, Darlena Chadwick.

State of the art technology and treatments like tomotherapy help cancer patients live longer.

"There are only about 100 of these in the world," said Medical Director, Dr. Diane Thompson. "Queen's is very proud of the treatments that we are able to offer here."

Outside, patients step into a healing garden.

"Perhaps an insect or a flower can take them out of that space for a moment and let them reflect on their lives and get them back to the moment of getting healthy again," said Landscape Design Manager, Mark Gwinner.

Getting better is what Colette is focused on; as she heads down the path to recovery.

"I'm a whole 'nother person today," McMonigle said. "There is light at the end of the tunnel."

The center also offers nontraditional treatments like massage, acupuncture and healing touch.

Hospital officials say the future looks bright, as they're looking to expand services at the center.