Cancer Center Design

General Design Considerations

A major factor in Cancer Center Design is the amount of patient examination and treatment areas. The number of patients which are being treated and the type of environments for healing more often than not determine the space requirements. One of the next major design considerations would be the patient flow and how far the patients have to travel and how direct are the access points within the design. The patient flow becomes extremely important due to the fact that cancer patients while going through treatment become fatigued and walking long distances become a challenge to most. Having direct access to the chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment areas is almost a necessity but the design still needs to maintain patient privacy.

Research has found that having direct access both visual and physically to the outdoors helps speed up the recovery process for most cancer patients. These kinds of outdoor gardens help take the mind off of the treatment taking place and give the mind a place to wonder during the process, especially during chemotherapy when some of the session may take several hours each time. Although the radiation treatment rooms don't have direct visual or physical connections to the outdoors, a new trend of placing landscaped images above the treatment tables to encourage the mind to wonder off into nature as it would in the chemo therapy treatment rooms.Although these are just a few, there are many more design considerations including: site location, demographics of the surrounding community, the long term potential for the facility, patient and family care support spaces, community and education centers, and treatment spaces which will be touched on a bit below.

Displayed below is a typical bubble diagram to consider when laying out cancer centers and how spaces are related to one another.

Cancer Center Design - Health Architecture

For more information on spatial considerations for Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy design follow the links below.


Chemotherapy Design Considerations

Radiation Therapy Design Considerations

  • Spaces Consideration

    Patient and Family Support Spaces - providing a comfortable living environment not only for the patient but also for the family as well considering they will be spending quite some time in the space as well. Spaces to consider:
    • Reception
    • Lounge
    • Private Consulting Area
    • Private Gowned Area
    • Personal Treatment Space for Chemotherapy

    Community and Education - providing places within the design which provide educational information and meeting spots.
    • Small Meeting Rooms
    • Educational Walls and/or Rooms
    • Large Group Conference Rooms for Consulting

    Diagnostics - providing plenty of space for equipment, patient rooms, storage, and supplies. Many walls surrounding diagnostic areas need to thicker and/or lined to prevent from outside exposure to radiation.
    • Medical Exam Rooms - typically 4 exam rooms per specialist
    • Procedure Rooms - lab work can be done quickly
    • X-Ray, MRI, CT + PET, and Ultrasound Rooms - allowing large enough space for equipment and possible expansion

    Therapeutic - providing designated spaces for specific forms of treatment.
    • Surgery - some cancer centers implement surgery into the design, yet others tend to keep them within the main hospitals
    • Chemotherapy - providing opportunity for patients with private rooms and public spaces for treatment
    • Radiotherapy - separate rooms for radiation to take place

    Support - providing plenty of storage, restrooms, and clear wayfinding
    • Restrooms - during chemotherapy treatment there is a need to have plenty of restrooms available
    • Pharmacy - a pharmacy is needed to mix the drugs for chemotherapy
    • Soiled and Clean Utility - the utilities rooms need to be separate from one another to prevent cross contamination
    • Staff Lounge - a place to retreat and relax for the staff
    • Nurse Work Rooms - specified rooms for nurses to input information into the system based on the days activities
    • Family Lounge - a place for the family to get away for a few minutes considering some of the chemo treatments may take several hours