Tifton cancer treatment all in one stop - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tifton cancer treatment all in one stop

February 3, 2004

Tifton- When Ken Hilyer walked through these doors this week his battle against cancer became easier to fight.

He gets chemotherapy twice a week, but instead of going to the hospital, he now comes here to Tift Regional's newly expanded Oncology Center.

"The facility really makes, well, a giant difference," Hilyer said.

The expansion gives cancer patients all the services they need in one location.

"Most patients with cancer are very fatigued and don't have the energy or the stamina to hold out for very long," said Debra Brantly, the center's unit charge nurse.

The center has almost double the amount of chemotherapy chairs, with a much better view. It's a scene that's hard to offer inside the walls of a hospital. And for patients who also need radiation therapy, it just takes a walk down the hall instead of a drive down the street to get here.

The center also has a new cancer resource library in the works. Anyone will have access to computers, books and videos to research cancer topics.

The biggest advantage for cancer patients is the in-house laboratory. At the hospital, they could have waited half an hour to 60 minutes for blood results. Now, they get their blood taken and in about 60 seconds they have their results.

So Hilyer gets his blood taken and checked within minutes. That means he gets started on three hours of chemotherapy quicker than ever before.

"I think it puts a whole new light on the cancer situation in Tifton," he said.

So when he leaves, Hilyer knows he's done all the fighting he can do for one day, without ever leaving the battlefield.

posted at 9:25 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com