Tyler, Texas (KETK) – It was cause for a celebration – the Texas Oncology Center in Tyler is celebrating 25 years of providing care and hope to cancer patients.
Since first opening in 1994, it has grown exponentially.
“It’s expanded from just a few doctors to seven medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, a research staff now of about 15 individuals dedicated to just cancer research,” said Dr. Donald Richards, medical oncologist.
To commemorate their milestone patients from past and present signed a banner.
“It’s very humbling,” said Dr. Mark Saunders, radiation oncologist. “I’m so proud of everyone who’s been a part of this. This community has made this cancer center what it is and I’m grateful.”
Today the center boasts having the same equipment and know-how as facilities in Houston or Dallas, something they never would have imagined a quarter century ago, and they’re still improving.
“We’re actually getting ready to introduce chimeric engine receptor T-cell therapy here,” said Dr. Saunders. “We’ll be one of the few community-based cancer centers in the United States that’s able to offer that.”
A cancer diagnosis is difficult enough, but having the option to be treated locally gives patients the stress relief they need to beat this horrible disease.
“When you’re involved and when you’re addressing you have to often come day after day for a while until things get regulated,” said Linda Holm, a patient.
Holm was one of the original patients in 1994, and continues to visit the same facility today.
“I just appreciate their diligence and their consistency and the fact that they don’t give up and the fact that they encourage along the way,” said Holm.
Here’s to 25 more years of treating patients and finding new, better ways, to treat people in this dire situation.