TRMC announces new cancer center

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Thibodaux Regional Medical Center plans to replace its current cancer center — the first of its type in the Bayou Region — with a $35 million addition to its campus.

TRMC CEO Greg Stock said the new cancer center will be just under 100,000 square feet and five stories tall, built around the existing thick radiation equipment vaults already on the site. The new center, Stock said, will allow better implementation of the latest technologies available for fighting cancer.

“This will include radiation oncology equipment that results in a lot less radiation to the patient while delivering higher doses to the cancer itself,” Stock said in an interview. “Other aspects will involve equipment that can radiate areas requiring extraordinary precision like the brain and the spine. It will allow therapies that are more effective but require fewer individual treatments.”

Current treatments and therapies include surgery, chemotherapy, high dose rate brachytherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation therapy. Those solutions, administaters say, are used on their own or in combination “to provide the best possible treatment to every cancer patient.”

Stock and other administrators said the new center will build on the experience gained over many years, adding enhancements as they develop in the medical field.

A rehabilitation building next door to the current center will be used to accommodate patients during the first phase of the construction period, Stock said.

The new cancer center is expected to open in late 2020, Stock said.

The hospital’s board chairman, Jake Giardina, said the new center is essential in a region where “every family is touched by cancer.”

“We have a cancer center that has been in existence for quite some time and it is not serving the public in the way we know the public needs to be served in this area,” Giardina said. “Everything is changing. We did those other buildings, I think, in the 1990s. The equipment, just everything is changing, it has changed quite a bit. We want to be able to servce the people of this community to the very best of our economic means.”

The hospital has been self-sustaining since 1992, when the board voted out collection of taxes.

“Everything that has been done has been done out of our earnings,” Giardina said. “We have not borrowed any money, and we paid off bonds that were existing.”

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