Texas Oncology has opened the doors to its new comprehensive outpatient cancer center near the South Texas Medical Center, adding to San Antonio’s already robust cancer-care market.

The Dallas-based company completed the construction of its $12 million facility at the end of May, replacing an existing facility that was significantly smaller. The 40,000-sq. ft. center includes seven surgical procedure rooms and more than 30 exam rooms, with capacity to treat up to 300 patients per day. It is Texas Oncology’s 7th location in San Antonio, widening the physician-owned practice’s reach throughout the city.

Dr. Roger Lyons, a Texas Oncology physician specializing in hematology, told the Rivard Report that “San Antonio has state-of-the-art facilities, research, and treatment that often goes unnoticed in our city.” Texas Oncology boasts an active research program, with its physicians having published nine peer-reviewed articles this year, according to Lyons.

Lyons said that as people get older and populations live longer, there will continue to be a high demand for comprehensive cancer care. As San Antonio continues to grow and cancer trends remain steady, the demand for comprehensive care for patients with cancer will increase.

“We hope that people in the city recognize what we have here and are not heading off to Houston to get treatment that can be done equally well, and sometimes better, here in San Antonio,” Lyons said.

Texas Oncology’s new facility has an on-site pharmacy, mobile PET/CT and ultrasound imaging capabilities, and surgical oncology and surgical gynecological oncology capabilities, giving patients the ability to receive all necessary medications and procedures in-house.

Texas Oncology is not alone in its attempt to bring comprehensive cancer services to San Antonio. Last year, UT Health San Antonio announced a partnership with the Houston-based MD Anderson Cancer Center to improve and expand cancer treatment services throughout South Texas.

Prior to this affiliation, UT Health had operated the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC) for 43 years.

The START Center for Cancer Care opened in San Antonio in 1990 and claims to have the “world’s largest and most active phase one clinical trials program.”

All major hospitals within Bexar County provide outpatient cancer treatment services.

In addition to promoting specialized treatment for a wide array of cancers, University Health System notes that it is one of only four organizations in Texas recognized as a “breast center of excellence,” by the National Consortium of Breast Centers, a national organization dedicated to excellence in breast health care.

Methodist Healthcare offers the Methodist Healthcare Cancer Network, which it refers to as the “leading provider of cancer treatment services in South Texas.”

“We have very good people here, not just our group, but other people here in San Antonio are quality physicians [who] provide good care,” Lyons said.

Experts estimate that there will be 120,173 new cancer cases in the state of Texas in 2017, according to the Department of State Health Services Texas Cancer Registry. An estimated 44,523 people in the state will die as a result of their cancer diagnosis.

Texas Cancer Registry data from 2014 indicated that there were 1,860,274 people in Bexar County at risk for developing cancer; 6,858 cancer cases were reported in 2014.

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the San Antonio Report.