ATHENS, Texas -- The Athens Cancer Center, a radiation oncology center that has served cancer patients from Henderson County and beyond since 1998, has been purchased by the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System, effective earlier this month.
While the name of the center will change to the ETMC Cancer Institute, ETMC officials said the approximately 20 patients each day who receive radiation therapy treatment at the Athens center should notice no changes; they will continue to receive the high quality care they have been receiving at the center.
“Our top priority is to ensure a seamless transition so that the patients of the center continue to receive the care they need,” said ETMC Cancer Institute Vice President Todd Sigmon. “Over the long term, we hope to enhance patient care with the addition of new technology and expanded services to this area.”
Sigmon explained that the Athens Cancer Center became available for purchase following the recent death of its primary owner and radiation oncologist, Dr. Mitchell Anderson.
“Dr. Mitch Anderson was a much-loved member of the Athens community, as well as the medical community throughout East Texas.” Sigmon said. “Over the years, the staff and physicians of the ETMC Cancer Institute were privileged to know and work with Dr. Anderson, and we want to continue his legacy of service and quality cancer care in Athens.”
The staff of the Athens Cancer Center – many of who whom have worked there for at least a decade -- have become employees of ETMC.
First Radiation Therapy Site Outside of Tyler
The Athens location of the ETMC Cancer Institute will become the system’s first site offering radiation therapy services outside of Tyler.
The ETMC Cancer Institute in Tyler is accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
Established in 1922, the Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to reducing the morbidity and mortality of cancer through education, standards-setting, and monitoring the quality of cancer care.
In 1990, ETMC’s Cancer Institute was the first oncology program in East Texas to be certified by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, placing it among the elite hospitals in the nation with approved cancer programs.
Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer- approved cancer program ensures that patients have access to:
- Comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment
- A multispecialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
- Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options
- Access to cancer–related information, education and support
- A cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up
- Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care
- Quality care close to home.
In addition, patients of the ETMC Cancer Institute benefit from weekly multidisciplinary prospective planning conferences. These cancer conferences involve up to 25 professionals, who assure that each patient’s case will be carefully considered by a team including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, primary care physicians, pathologists, radiologists, technicians and other oncology professionals. Each treatment plan is designed specifically for that patient, and will be coordinated and closely followed by the team.
The East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System is East Texas’ largest healthcare system. ETMC facilities include hospitals in Athens, Carthage, Clarksville, Crockett, Fairfield, Henderson, Gilmer, Jacksonville, Mount Vernon, Pittsburg, Quitman, Trinity and Tyler, in addition to the ETMC Rehabilitation Hospital and ETMC Specialty Hospital.