The emergency room and campus of Central Maine Medical Center. The Lewiston hospital is part of the Central Maine Healthcare system. Credit: Courtesy of Central Maine Healthcare

Central Maine Healthcare said Monday that it plans to invest more than $38 million in a new cancer institute to be built on its campus in Lewiston.

The new Central Maine Cancer Institute is expected to be completed and start seeing patients within two years.

Development plans for the Central Maine Cancer Institute have been filed and are pending state review. No date has been set for construction to begin.

“As we anticipate the future needs of an aging population — with among the highest incidence of cancer located here in Central Maine — we want to provide enhanced access to quality care,” Jeff Brickman, CEO of Central Maine Healthcare, said in a statement. “We’re reinvesting in and renewing our cancer program to keep that care close to home.”

Brickman said the new facility, planned for the northeastern quadrant of the Central Maine Medical Center campus, will have new technology and updated equipment.

Some estimates put the number of cancer patients in central Maine at more than 200,000. Having full oncology services at Central Maine Medical Center so patients don’t have to go elsewhere could save $993,000 and 35,000 hours annually in travel costs, the hospital group said.

Hospital data show that there are 42,825 patient visits each year to Central Maine Medical Center’s breast center, infusion clinic, radiation oncology department and oncology clinic.

The proposed location for the new facility currently has employee parking. Plans include developing replacement parking on the hospital campus.