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Work starts on cancer treatment center
Dr. Amarjit Dhaliwal, left, at the October groundbreaking shakes hands with Bill Filios while renderings of the cancer center are on display behind him.
Earth grading on the site of the $8 million Central Valley Cancer Center was under way this week near the east end of Norman Drive just west of Spreckels Avenue.

Large earth-moving equipment was leveling the ground near existing medical offices making way for the center that is expected to be completed within a year.

Modesto oncologist Dr. Amarjit Dhaliwal has philosophically partnered with Mark Lisa, CEO of Doctors Hospital of Manteca, in the project that will include the hospital leasing one of three structures to be built on the site – a 6,000-square-foot outpatient Imaging Center that will offer PET, MRI and CT scans.

The slowdown in the economy has also significantly reduced the cost of the project, Dhaliwal said. Five years ago the cancer center would have had a price tag of $16 million, twice what it is estimated to be today.

Lisa said the multi-year, multi-million dollar project is going to bring state-of-the-art, comprehensive cancer treatment and a stand-alone outpatient diagnostic imaging to Manteca and to its surrounding communities.

The center will include a linear accelerator and a medical staff of some 30 medical professionals including a physicist and two therapists, he said.

Speaking for the medical community, Lisa stressed that caregivers in Manteca strive to provide the best and most comprehensive health care at the local level and that he regrets hearing people say they have to drive to UC Davis or UCSF for perceived better care there and in other places.

“As citizens and consumers of health care, you demand and deserve the very best health care right here at home,” the hospital administrator said at the groundbreaking several months ago.

He had also pointed out that the center will have a 1.2 test luck magnet for MRSs that will be the highest powered open magnet in the central valley. Lisa added that the center will also have positron emission tomography and computer tomography – a high-end diagnostic tool.