New Cancer Center Expands Options for Local Patients

By: Matt Howerton Email
By: Matt Howerton Email

WACO (November 18, 2013) The Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center will have its grand opening ceremony on Tuesday; the multimillion dollar facility is expected to service hundreds of Central Texans battling cancer with state of the art treatment options.

However, the facility won’t begin treating patients until Wednesday. Mock patients will first test run the center’s services on Tuesday night.

The facility is the one of the first products of the Baylor Scott & White merger. It sits on the edge of Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center’s campus adjacent to I-35.

On average the center will treat 266 patients a month. The facility is already touting the numerous services and treatments it will be providing.

There are 20 infusion bays specifically for chemotherapy. The facility also has a state of the art $2 million Varian TruBeam (or advanced linear accelerator) that pinpoints a tumor with sub-millimeter precision and eradicates it using numerous radiation beams so only the tumor and not any healthy tissue surrounding it is hit with
radiation.

That service may be the most valuable the center has to offer and can make the difference in many difficult cancer cases according to the center’s Director of Medical Oncology Joni Watson.

“It’s truly amazing. The best part is that it’s right here, and no one has to travel miles and miles to a larger city to use it,” she said.

The center also offers brachytherapy, social services, patient and family counseling, financial counseling, CT scans, integrative medicine, on-site lab services, dietician services, on-site pharmacy, and nurse navigation services.

Watson says having all of those services under one roof makes the center one of a kind in the region.

“Patients don't have to go from setting to setting or place to place to get the services they need,” Watson said.

"We provide the majority of patient services in one building."

Hillcrest CEO Glenn Robinson said he’s eager to get services at the center up and running.

“It’s inviting and it’s warm. It’s not sterile or scary. This will be a place of hope for our community,” Robinson said.

The grand opening ceremony for Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center will be held on its premises at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.


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