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The Miriam Hospital

The Miriam Hospital

The Leonard and Adele R. Decof Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
164 Summit Avenue
Providence, RI 02906

(401) 793-2500

Learn More about this Cancer Center

Located in the seaside city of Providence, just 50 miles southwest of Boston, The Miriam Hospital is a private, not-for-profit hospital and home to The Leonard and Adele R. Decof Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. The hospital is a major teaching affiliate of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, a highly respected Ivy League university.


The Miriam Hospital exists thanks to the generosity of the Jewish community of Providence. In 1902, a group of women began going door-to-door, collecting small donations to open a place to treat Jewish people living in poverty. The coins added up, and a small neighborhood facility opened in 1926 with 63 beds and 14 bassinets. Within a couple decades, it became clear that there was a need for a larger hospital; again, the Jewish community raised $1.3 million in support of the effort, and a new 150-bed facility opened in 1952. After decades of further expansion, the hospital currently contains 247 beds and is a major employer in the community, bringing 2,491 jobs to Providence. The hospital conducts more than 48,000 outpatient visits per year and more than 10,000 surgeries.

In 2006, the Adele R. Decof Cancer Center at The Miriam Hospital opened its doors. Named in recognition of a gift from the Adele R. Decof Foundation, the center was equipped with the hospital’s first digital mammography machine, allowing for improved detection of breast cancer. In 2011, a major expansion was undertaken to improve service and meet increasing demand for cancer treatment in the Providence area.

Mesothelioma Treatment at The Miriam Hospital

Mesothelioma — a rare asbestos-related cancer that can strike the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) or heart (pericardial mesothelioma) — is frequently misdiagnosed. It is imperative for patients to seek treatment from experienced professionals at a hospital with insight into the disease. Mesothelioma patients at The Miriam Hospital benefit not just from a top-notch team at Miriam, but also from experts at the nearby Rhode Island Hospital and Newport Hospital. In a unique collaboration, the three institutions bring together world-renowned physicians and technologies to fight cancer in a warm and comfortable setting.

Before diagnosing mesothelioma, doctors will conduct a thorough interview to learn about the patient’s work history and possible exposure to asbestos. A series of diagnostic tests will follow, which may include CT scans, PET scans, X-rays and biopsies. If the diagnosis is indeed mesothelioma, a team of doctors — which may include a medical oncologist, surgeon, radiologist, nutritionist, and others — will determine the severity, or stage, of the disease and recommend a course of treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation or a combination of several treatments. Cutting-edge technologies, such as CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery, may be utilized to ensure the strongest and most accurate dose of radiation is administered. While traditional treatments have been proven to be effective, especially with an early-stage mesothelioma diagnosis, some patients may opt to undergo experimental treatment. The Miriam Hospital has dozens of clinical trials available for patient enrollment; patients are encouraged to discuss these options with their doctors.

A number of complementary therapies are also available at The Miriam Hospital; while they are not expected to cure cancers on their own, they can help to relax the patient and improve his or her attitude, allowing treatments to be more effective. The therapies include massage, Reiki, hypnosis and pet therapy.

All of this adds up to successful and award-winning cancer treatment at The Miriam Hospital. The hospital’s cancer practice was one of the first in the nation to receive a Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) certification, an affiliate of the Society of Clinical Oncology that recognizes oncology programs for meeting rigorous standards of patient-centered care. Miriam’s Leonard and Adele R. Decof Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has also been named a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, one of only two hospitals in the state the receive the merit. Finally, the Decof Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has earned an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois

The Miriam Hospital — About Us

The Miriam Hospital — History

The Leonard and Adele R. Decof Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

“Rhode Island and The Miriam Hospitals Earn Prestigious National Cancer Award”

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