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First patient treated at new Valley Cancer Medical Center
Doctors Hospital of Manteca CEO Niko Tejeda, second from right, welcomes Lathrop Chamber of Commerce members to a morning coffee earlier this week at the new Valley Cancer Center on Norman Drive near the Target shopping center. Seen from left are DHM Business Development director Scott Knight, Dr. Amarjit Dhaliwal, owner of the new center; Tejeda and Ajeet Singh representing the Lathrop Chamber of Commerce. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A coffee and tour of the Valley Cancer Medical Center trumpeted the first patient to be treated in the $17 million facility Wednesday morning as it started serving the residents of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

The two-story center covers 32,000 square feet housing numerous offices, exam rooms, a conference room with expansion expected into the second floor for Hospice and a cancer related pharmacy.

The comprehensive cancer center provides state-of-the-art medical oncology and radiation therapy – “caring with compassion,” according to an excerpt from its mission statement.

The coffee was co-hosted by Doctors Hospital of Manteca and the Lathrop Chamber of Commerce with tours offered by radiation specialists on staff.  The tour included an explanation of the $3.5 million linear accelerator and continued across the parking lot at the Imaging Center operated by Doctors Hospital.  The PET and CT scans offered at the Imaging Center are at a molecular level with differing methodologies than used at the Cancer Center.

Founder of the center Dr. Amarjit Dhaliwal, oncologist, was on hand to welcome his guests as was his wife Rupe. Doctors’ CEO Niko Tejeda and several of his staff members joined in the tour that lasted nearly an hour.

A third new medical building to the north on the campus is hoped to become a surgery center in the future. It is to the west of numerous doctors’ offices and near Spreckels and Yosemite avenues.