When we first opened the doors of Texas Oncology–Longview in 1993, Whitney Houston was topping the charts, “Jurassic Park” was thrilling theater-goers and a gallon of gasoline cost about $1.16. Cancer care offered patients hope but not many options, especially compared to recent years.
Indeed, most everything about cancer care has improved greatly in the past quarter century. Above all, we’re saving more lives than ever. The American Cancer Society says that the cancer mortality rate has dropped more than 26 percent in the past 25 years. For example, the current five-year survival rate for stage 1 breast cancer is close to 100 percent.
How is this happening? Again, it’s everything: reduced smoking, advances in prevention, more screenings and early detection and new innovations.
Here in Longview, we are fortunate to have a vibrant community of support among patients’ families, advocacy groups, and just regular folks who care. On behalf of our medical team and our patients, we can’t overstate our gratitude to those who join us in the fight against cancer — whether that’s volunteering at the cancer center, knitting caps and blankets for patients, walking in our annual foundation fundraiser or giving time or treasure in some other way.
That sense of community defines our approach to cancer care. As a community-based practice, we have seen firsthand the benefits of providing patients access to cutting edge cancer care close to the support they need from loved ones, friends and co-workers. That commitment — our promise — to providing high quality local care, is what sets us apart here in Longview and 175 other locations in Texas.
Community means everything to us. That includes our own statewide community, a broad, connected network of more than 420 physicians, a complement to the nine oncologists here in Longview.
As we mark our 25th anniversary, we’re focusing our passion and energy as cancer fighters on bringing game-changing breakthrough treatments to patients here. That includes new immunotherapies, personalized and targeted therapies — based on amazing discoveries of the internal workings of how cells behave, and how they misbehave. We also use telehealth to help connect Longview patients with highly specialized expertise like our renowned brain cancer team in Austin, and new CAR-T therapy and advanced proton therapy in Dallas.
But whatever new scientific, medical marvel we apply, our team of physicians, nurses, and support staff will always do that with same personal approach that we put in place when we launched the Longview clinic 25 years ago.