For a number of years, The World Cancer Report has been telling us that cancer rates are set to increase globally at an alarming rate. So it is not really surprising that while many healthcare capital projects have been put on hold, delayed, or simply slowed down, Cancer Centers may be the one sector in the healthcare market that has remained active. I thought it would be interesting to share experiences on Cancer Projects in the design and construction phases.

One thing that we are experiencing in the northeast market sector is that the raw material cost for lead and steel has slid dramatically (35–45%) during the past 12 months, while the cost of readi-mix concrete has gone up (10%). On a number of projects, this has allowed some rethinking on the approach to shielding. Using shielded doors may now financially justify reducing or eliminating the concrete-walled maze in a linear accelerator. My personal recommendation would be to allow for shielding alternates in the bidding process. Doing so may not only save on construction costs, but may also save on the square footage required for a project.

I would be interested in hearing other first hand experiences with the construction of Cancer Centers.