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Inova opens cancer screening and prevention center in Merrifield

Inova’s new cancer screening and prevention center in Merrifield is the first facility of its kind in the D.C. area, the nonprofit health care system says.

Inova marked the official opening of the Saville Cancer Screening and Prevention Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday (May 4).

First announced in late 2020, the center occupies 24,000 square feet of space in the Inova Schar Cancer Institute at 8081 Innovation Park Drive, according to a news release. Inova says the facility is rare for enabling patients to get prevention, screening, and treatment services in the same place.

“While most people know that early detection saves lives, not everyone knows where to start or has access to quality care,” Dr. Rebecca Kaltman, executive director of the Inova Saville Cancer Screening and Prevention Center, said. “This new state of the art facility provides greater access to routine cancer screening as well as a comprehensive approach to minimizing cancer risk through techniques including biometric assessments, genetic testing and novel, minimally invasive tools to improve early detection.”

The center was built with a $20 million donation from Paul and Linda Saville. Paul Saville is the president and CEO of the Reston-based construction company NVR Inc.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., as of 2020, below cardiovascular diseases and right above COVID-19.

With health concerns and capacity limitations keeping many people away from hospitals and doctors’ offices, the pandemic led to nearly 22 million cancer screenings getting canceled or skipped between June 2020 and March 2021, the American Cancer Society reported in September.

More recently, health care workers across the country say the severity of cancer cases coming in has increased, particularly among people of color.

“We hope that by providing our neighbors with accessible, multidisciplinary screening and prevention services and a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach, we will help our community get back on track with their health and cure more cancers through early detection and intervention,” Inova Schar Cancer Institute President Dr. John Deeken said.

Appointments at the Saville center can be scheduled online or by calling 571-472-4724. A referral isn’t necessary to receive services, according to the press release.

The center will host a free cancer screening and prevention fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 11. Expected to become an annual occurrence, the event will feature free cancer screenings and information sessions with medical staff as well as food trucks, entertainment, kids’ activities, healthy cooking demonstrations, and more.

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