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Swedish Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center

Swedish Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center

1221 Madison Street
Arnold Pavilion

Seattle, WA 98104

(206) 386-2354

Doctors Affiliated with this Treatment Facility

Learn More about this Cancer Center

The Swedish Cancer Institute is one of the leading cancer treatment centers in the Pacific Northwest. The facility is headquartered at the Swedish Medical Center’s First Hill campus, a 635-bed nonprofit hospital located in Seattle, Washington.


The Swedish Cancer Institute has a history of being on the cutting edge of cancer treatments, right from its very beginnings. In 1928, shortly after the discovery of the X-ray, it was discovered that the rays could be used to target cancer cells. Dr. Nils Johanson was fascinated by this realization and convinced the trustees of Swedish Hospital to purchase a supervoltage X-ray machine – one of just eight in existence in the United States. The hospital also spent tens of thousands of dollars on radium, another material found to promise as a cancer therapy. With these materials, the hospital established the Swedish Tumor Institute in 1932, the first high-energy radiation therapy center in the western United States.

Several patented innovations have kept the Swedish Cancer Institute at the forefront of cancer research in the past decade, such as the CyberKnife® and Gamma Knife® -- not actually knives at all, but noninvasive radiosurgery instruments that are used to treat brain tumors and other cancers.

A new cancer treatment center specifically for women – the True Family Women’s Cancer Center – is slated to open at Swedish in 2012. It will become the largest and most comprehensive women’s cancer facility in the Pacific Northwest.

Mesothelioma Treatment at the Swedish Cancer Institute

One of the most difficult things about mesothelioma – and what makes it so difficult to treat – is its diagnosis. Symptoms for the disease are often characterized as subtle, and can include difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough, loss of appetite and night sweats. Unfortunately, these symptoms closely resemble those of other types of illnesses that require a very different course of treatment.

To ensure a correct diagnosis, doctors at the Swedish Cancer Institute may perform several tests, including a CT Scan, PET Scan and MRI. The results of these examinations will help them determine whether the patient has mesothelioma, and if so, what type it is. These answers will help them determine a course of treatment.

Cancer specialists at the Swedish Cancer Institute work in collaborative, multidisciplinary teams to create an individualized treatment plan for patients. This frequently involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, a combination that has proven more successful than any of the single therapies alone. While Swedish offers advanced cancer treatment therapies – and the opportunity to participate in clinical trials – the hospital also offers a range of complementary treatments to address psychological, emotional and spiritual needs, such as massage, nutrition, emotional support and music therapy. Support groups are available, and an American Cancer Society Patient Navigator is also on hand to help patients and their families through the cancer treatment process.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois

Swedish Cancer Institute

Swedish Cancer Institute – Cancer Treatment Team

Swedish Cancer Institute – Integrated Cancer Care

Swedish Cancer Institute – About Us

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