By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
As if cancer isn’t enough of a burden, add in daily visits to Dallas or Fort Worth for radiation treatment, and it’s simply exhausting.
This year, those daily treatments will become a little easier for people in Navarro County with the opening of the Corsicana Oncology Center.
The center is already under construction, although there will be a ceremonial groundbreaking at noon Friday on the site, just south of the hospital.
Corsicana Oncology will be locally operated and is owned by M-Squared Oncology, a company formed by partners Mike O’Neill, Mike Schooling and Mike Rommel.
O’Neill is a physicist, an he will be doing the behind-the-scenes work on the linear accelerator that is the heart of the treatment center. The investment will be right at $3 million, much of which is going into the equipment. The expense of the machine is the primary reason Corsicana hasn’t had a cancer center in the past.
“It uses high-energy x-rays, not the type you use when you have a broken bone. As it passes through the cancer it does damage to the cancer,” O’Neill explained. “It’s the latest technology. You’re going to have what everybody else has in the big city.”
The machine can show real time images of tumors allowing pinpoint accuracy at higher doses and deliver faster, more tolerable treatments. While most radiation treatment facilities use 1 slice or 4 slice CT scanners, Corsicana Cancer Center will be using an 8 slice CT scanner to create images of tumors for treatment planning faster and with diagnostic quality. Corsicana Cancer Center owners have worked in Radiation Oncology for 35 years in some of the best hospitals in our nation. They are recruiting board certified cancer treatment specialists with years of experience; who care about people. Some new staff are local and two are moving into town, excited to be a part of Corsicana's only radiation treatment center.
It was four years ago that local residents and cancer volunteers began urging someone to open an oncology center in Corsicana, so it’s been a while coming. In the meantime, M-Squared did a feasibility study, looking at the incidences of cancer within a 25 mile radius of Corsicana.
“We thought there was enough to justify one center in Corsicana,” O’Neill said.
Construction of the building will probably be finished this summer, and then the machine will be installed and has to be tested, a process which takes between four and eight weeks.
“We’re hoping for September,” O’Neill said of the opening date.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com