Friday, April 13, 2007

Valley gets first cancer doctors

Express Staff Writer

Two cancer doctors from St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute in Twin Falls have begun to see patients in the Wood River Valley once a month on an ongoing basis.

Dr. Charles Smith, a radiation oncologist and medical director of the institute in Twin Falls, and Dr. Banu Symington, a medical oncologist and hematologist, are seeing patients at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center's physician office annex on the third Thursday of every month. The annex is next to the hospital south of Ketchum.

Previously, cancer patients had to travel to Twin Falls for follow-up visits with their doctors there.

Corinne Slagel, director of the Twin Falls institute, said Smith and Symington have been making monthly visits to the Wood River hospital for some time to consult with doctors there. She said they decided to begin seeing patients as well since the number of cancer patients in the area has been increasing with its population.

"This is the first step to increasing oncology services there," Slagel said.

She said the two doctors saw at least nine patients on their first day of service here in March.

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