The New JPS Cancer Center: A Place Where Unique Needs Will Be Met

August 8th, 2018

With the number of patients relying on JPS Health Network’s Center for Cancer Care increasing each year, caregivers are eagerly anticipating the planned opening of a much larger cancer center that will give them the tools needed to fight the disease sooner, more effectively and more comprehensively.

“We’ve seen the number of new cancer patients we treat increase more than 70 percent over the past 10 years and they’ve doubled since 2006,” said Dr. Bassam Ghabach, medical director for JPS Center for Cancer Care. “With improvements in treatments, patients are living longer. That means the number of total visits we have each year is increasing even more than the number of new patients is going up.”

JPS Health Network

JPS team members celebrate with cancer survivors

Ghabach said the new center at 1450 8th Avenue in Fort Worth, which JPS leaders agreed to sublease in June, is expected to open in the spring of 2019. At 51,170 square feet, it would nearly double the current capacity to provide radiation and chemotherapy to patients. But, equally importantly, it will allow room for a variety of other complimentary services including an in-house nutritionist, psychological services for those struggling with the stress of fighting a sometimes deadly disease, space for a surgical oncologist and an on-site pharmacy.

The center would also provide a lot more room to house the JPS Cancer Survivors Clinic, which was created two years ago and is currently one of only two facilities of its kind in the state of Texas.

“There are about 15 million people in this country who are living as cancer survivors right now and that number is expected to reach 20 million by 2026,” Ghabach said. “Cancer survivors have their own distinct medical problems and the Survivors Clinic is the ideal place for them to get the help they need.”

Ghabach said that cancer survivors need imaging studies and blood tests to be done at set intervals to monitor for cancer recurrence. Their general practitioner might not know the exact frequency and which tests need to be done for each cancer patient. Patients who receive chemotherapy or radiation might have long term complications that need to be managed including lymphedema, hypothyroidism and infertility issues. Their family doctor might not feel comfortable managing these issues.

There are no indications that the increasing demand for cancer treatment at JPS will level off any time in the near future.

“Our caseload, over the past several years, has gone up about 10 percent, annually,” said Jolonda Bullock, manager of cancer registry at JPS. “It keeps growing and growing, exponentially. Were on a pace this year for 1,700 new cases. It looks like the demand for cancer treatment services will only go up in the future.”

The number of new cases continues to rise so fast that Ghabach said, before the new cancer center is open, he can already envision a day when JPS will need even more space.

“I think we’re probably going to continue to see the same increases over the next 10 years that we saw over the past 10 years,” Ghabach said. “I’m thinking we will outgrow the new center in about a decade. We’ll keep moving forward and we’ll be ready for where the future takes us.”

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