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UT Medical Center Commits to Building New Cancer Institute

UT_Med_CtrThe University of Tennessee Medical Center will break ground this year on a new cancer institute, officials with the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute announced. Cancer Institute representatives discussed their ongoing commitment to support patients and families throughout the region facing a cancer diagnosis, stating that a new expanded facility is needed to enhance the delivery of the numerous oncology services added by the medical center in recent years as well as to accommodate the sharply rising number of cancer cases.

“We are building the largest and most comprehensive facility in the region dedicated exclusively to cancer care,” said Dr. John Bell, director of the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute. “The war on cancer continues, every hour of every day, right here in East Tennessee and across the globe. Those at greatest risk for developing cancer, age 65 and older, represent the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s imperative that we recognize the impending needs of our community and be prepared to address those needs.”

Bell said that while some of the specific details about the facility are still being finalized, construction is expected to begin mid-year. The new cancer institute will be at least 100,000 square feet in size, Bell said, with an estimated price tag in the $20 – 25 million range.

“Since we moved into our current Cancer Institute in 2003, the services we offer for the treatment of cancer have more than doubled,” said Steve Ross, senior vice president for Strategic Development at UT Medical Center. “We’ve vastly expanded our programs in several areas of oncology, improved and implemented new technology and increased the scope of our cancer research program in addition to recruiting more than a dozen new cancer specialists. The war on cancer takes many people and many weapons. We need to be sure we have the space to house them all.”

Ross cited program expansions in surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, the treatment of head and neck cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, urologic cancer and micro-vascular plastic surgery. He also mentioned the addition of the CyberKnife Center as well as the patient support through social, spiritual, outreach education and screening and the Benefitting You boutique housed within the Cancer Institute.

Increased patient volumes have accompanied the expanded programs and services. Ross said that in 2010, the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute had more than 2,000 new cancer diagnoses, an 11 percent increase in new cases. The American Cancer Society projects a 45 percent jump in new cancer cases nationally in the next two decades.

Even more important than adding the space, Ross said, is designing the facility in a way that meets the needs of cancer patients as well as the physicians, nurses and staff treating them.

“This facility will continue the consolidation for all outpatient services under one roof,” said Renee Hawk, vice president of the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute. “We have engaged our physicians, staff and, most importantly, patients in designing the new facility to maximize the convenience, privacy, comfort and safety for our patients and families in a healing environment.”

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Posted March 16, 2011

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    UT Medical Center Commits to Building New Cancer Institute

    The University of Tennessee Medical Center will break ground this year on a new cancer institute, officials with the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute announced. Cancer Institute representatives discussed their ongoing commitment to support patients and families throughout the region facing a cancer diagnosis, stating that a new expanded facility is needed to enhance the delivery of the numerous oncology services added by the medical center in recent years as well as to accommodate the sharply rising number of cancer cases.

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    Posted March 16, 2011

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