Fitzgibbon Cancer Center celebrates first year of service to community

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On Friday, Oct. 1, while many in Marshall celebrated the third annual Football-in-Pink event, another milestone was noted within the walls of Fitzgibbon Hospital, according to a news release from the hospital.

According to Fitzgibbon President & CEO Ron Ott, it was a bittersweet observance.

"October marks the end of the first year of providing cancer treatments at the Community Cancer Center," Ott said. "Like everyone else, we wish there was no need for these services -- that a cure for cancer could be found. On the other hand, we are honored to be able to provide cancer treatment services right here in Marshall for the people who depend on us."

Dennis Sousley, Vice President of Clinical Services at Fitzgibbon, said the number of patients seen at the Community Cancer Center during the first year was higher than expected.

"We knew there was a need for these services in our area, but I think we were all a little surprised by the volume we experienced during the first year," Sousley said.

According to Sousley, the Community Cancer Center saw approximately 185 patients during the first year. Of those, 65 were chemo-therapy related. A total of 51 patients received a combined total of over 1,500 radiation therapy treatments.

Certain tumors that are near other sensitive organs are treated using an advanced imaging process during the actual treatment to assure the radiation is confined to the tumor. This is another way the Community Cancer Center provides not only excellent patient care, but excellent technology as well, hospital officials said.

The remainder of the patients received a combination of radiation and chemo therapy or received some other oncology related service.

"We all look forward to our second year serving the cancer treatment needs of our community," Ott said. "As we move into another year of service, we are also looking forward to moving the Community Cancer Center into another phase of operation. We are looking for better ways to serve our patients and their families, and we think you will begin to see the cancer treatment center become more of a place where people can come to research cancer issues, to learn more about cancer through educational opportunities, and to see how different disciplines -- such as dietetics, home health, hospice, spiritual services and social services -- relate to the overall cancer treatment philosophy."

For more information about the Community Cancer Center, call 660-831-3760, or visit

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