Digital illustration of cancer cells

Rising to the challenge

Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center in Temple expands to meet growing demand.

Experts estimate that one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. In fact, someone in the US is diagnosed with cancer every 30 seconds.

However, there is good news. According to the American Cancer Society, more people in the United States are winning their battle with cancer than dying from it.

The Glenda Tanner Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center at Baylor Scott & White in Temple is a proud part of the effort to improve quality of life and survival rates for cancer patients throughout Central Texas. Each year at the Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center, we provide care at more than 43,000 patient visits and acquire more than 2,000 new patients.

“One of the biggest risk factors for cancer is simply getting older,” says Niloyjyoti Deb, MD, Chair and Medical Director for the Radiation Oncology Department at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple. “People are living longer, and a large portion of our population is reaching the age that makes them more likely to get cancer.”

Meeting the community’s needs

About half of all cancer patients will need radiation therapy at some point during their treatment. A 26,000 square-foot addition to our current facilities will expand our radiation oncology services to help meet increasing demand.

Plans for the expansion include two advanced linear accelerators. Linear accelerators deliver high energy beams of radiation with pinpoint accuracy to target and treat tumors while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

Some tumors, such as those on the lungs or breasts, can be difficult to target with radiation because of their natural movement as a patient breathes. Our new Optical Surface Mapping Systems will account for these natural movements and eliminate the need for immobilization. This improvement will make the process shorter and more comfortable for patients.

Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center also offers High Dose Rate Brachytherapy, a powerful form of internally delivered radiation therapy. This technique involves placing a radiation source directly within or adjacent to a tumor, minimizing the effects of treatment on normal tissue. This is especially useful for patients who have previously undergone radiation therapy in the same area.

Care beyond cancer treatment

Our team of care providers works together to provide each patient with total care. From biopsies, chemotherapy and surgery, to emotional, psychological, and spiritual support, we focus on the whole person and not simply on an isolated finding.

“We don’t want our patients to just survive cancer, we want them to thrive,” says Lynne Palamara, MSN, RN-BC, OCN CNS, Cancer Survivorship Coordinator and Patient Navigator at Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center. “We host group discussion sessions to help patients address issues such as emotional and spiritual wellbeing, improving strength and endurance, nutrition and weight management, and even overcoming employment and insurance barriers.”

“We also have a Thriving After Cancer clinic with a dedicated nurse specialist who works with the care team to help the individual patient overcome some of the physical and emotional effects of cancer,” Ms. Palamara says. “Fatigue, weight gain or loss, anxiety about cancer recurrence, and sleep disturbance are just a few of the issues we address in this clinic. All of these resources and strategies are designed specifically to enhance the patient’s quality of life during and after cancer treatment.”

The Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center offers a number of resources and services beyond medical treatment, including:

  • Patient navigation and psychological support services
  • Pain management and palliative care
  • Nutritional services
  • Patient and caregiver support groups
  • Prevention and screening
  • Survivorship programs

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