A $3 million cancer clinic is now open in Claremore. Doctors at the Northeastern Oklahoma Cancer Institute say they have a unique radiation machine there one of only four in the whole country. Radiation Oncologists across the country helped to pay for the new facility.
"This machine treats in 15 seconds versus five to 10 minutes. So, we're able to have patients literally hold their breath during treatment. And it's significantly up to 20 to 30 percent less area that I have to treat, because I don't have to worry about things moving," said Medical Director Dr. Diane Heaton.
"I can't believe it's in Claremore, Oklahoma. That's amazing," said cancer survivor Ashley May.
But the machine isn't the only special element of the institute. Under this blue paint are messages of encouragement that were written on the walls during construction. Each patient receives a booklet highlighting the messages.
"Our hope is that they'll think of those sayings and all the love that came into the room when they walk in. I think you can actually feel it," said Dr. Heaton.
While today marked the grand opening a handful of patients have already received treatment here.
"It was very small, so I'm really lucky. But they caught it really early," said May.
Ashley May lives in Claremore and like Gertrude Wilson would have driven to Tulsa if it weren't for this clinic.
"I don't know if I could have made it to Tulsa five days a week. Cause it was -- well, it was a trip to go there and back every day," said Wilson. "I'm a cancer survivor three times."
Now, both done with their treatments they're excited to share this clinic and their hope with future patients. About half of the $3 million budget went toward the radiation therapy machine. Doctors say there are only three others like it in the country located in California, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
For more information on the Institute click here or here for more information on the radiation machine.