LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A new machine in the Temple Cancer Center is bringing hi-tech treatment and a hope of remission to East Texas Cancer patients.
The Temple Cancer Center, along with CHI St.Luke's Memorial hospital in Lufkin, recently finished a $4.5 million project to upgrade the imaging center.
Lufkin resident Jerry Cole was the first patient to use the new Elekta Synergy Linear Accelerator that was officially ready to go on April 1.
"I get on this machine every day," Cole said. "It takes me in, scans me, does the radiation. There's no pain or nothing. It's real easy."
The machine allows the oncologist's at CHI Memorial to get a more precise image on the tumor they are fighting. Cole said the diagnosis of brain cancer was hard, but was comforted by the upgrade in equipment.
"I was scared," Cole said. "I was scared, really scared. I broke down crying. I had people telling me to go to Houston and others saying to stay here. Dr. Roberts made me feel comfortable and so I came here and I am glad I did."
According to a press release on the accelerator, the Synergy provides a precisely sculpted 3D radiation dose as it rotates 360 degrees around the patient. It can, when needed, continuously monitor the movement of the tumor as the patient breathes and only deliver radiation when the tumor is in exactly the right place. This allows for a higher, more effective dosage amount without additional risk of side effects, including damage to normal, surrounding tissues.
The instillation of the new machine was just the first of many coming to the hospital.
"I think it speaks volumes for the community that oncology, cancer treatment, was one of the primaries where they wanted to invest," Director of the Temple Cancer Center Dr. Sid Roberts said. "CHI's commitment to our community is that we will remain the regional healthcare hub of East Texas. Their interest is not in taking patients down to Houston, but in providing us with the equipment and technology we need for patients to remain at home."