The Auburn-Opelika area is long overdue when it comes to need for a new cancer treatment facility.

Fortunately, East Alabama Medical Center’s Spencer Cancer Center is on target to open its doors to patients as early as June. It will be a welcome addition to the community.

EAMC’s current cancer wing is too small and too short of the services needed that patients would like to find at one stop, under one roof. Soon, instead of traveling sometimes hours away to locations such as on U.S. Highway 280 to Birmingham or Interstate 85 to Atlanta, needed treatments and attention will be more readily available right here at home.

“When you’re under cancer care, you want to stay home,” EAMC President and CEO Laura Grill said. “You don’t want to do the 280 shuffle.”

No, you don’t.

Cancer is a horrible disease and steals away far too much from us already. Testing for it and getting early treatment is one way to defeat it. Improving quality of life for those already with it is of utmost importance.

Construction on Spencer Cancer Center is moving along well, with completion expected by May 15, equipment move-in during late May and early June, and the first patients could be received as early as June 16.

Located only perhaps a quarter-mile northwest of the hospital in Opelika off of Dunlop Drive, which veers off of U.S. 280, the facility will have a nice woodland setting with numerous windowed walls and treatment rooms, an exterior featuring natural stonework; and all types of auxiliary services provided, ranging from a boutique for buying wigs, to a specialty pharmacy, all meant to provide patient ease and convenience with various needs.

The three-floor building will total almost 60,000 square feet at a cost of almost $40 million for construction and equipment.

Inside, there will be 28 infusion therapy chairs in five infusion bays, 12 medical oncology exam rooms, six radiation oncology exam rooms, two linear accelerators, a PET/CT machine, a high-dose radiation machine, four conference rooms, a resource library and a chapel.

It is sad that we need such a facility.

It is fortunate that we are about to have it.

Load comments