GA Makes Advancements in Cancer Treatment

By: Donnitra Gilbert Email
By: Donnitra Gilbert Email

Archbold Memorial Hospital has one of the most advanced oncology centers in the state of Georgia, treating more than 24-thousand cancer patients last year alone.

"We have one of the only gamma knives in Georgia," says Director of Radiation Dr. J. Steven Johnson.

This heavy machinery may cost millions of dollars, but doctors say that in return it saves thousands of lives.

"We have a large number of survivors when you think of cancer spreading to the brain you think the patient will last six months," says Dr. Johnson.

Now Dr. Johnson says 10 percent of Archbold's cancer patients survive for more than five years.

"I'm a cancer survivor," says Thomasville resident Debbie Beeson.

"There was a need for someone to help the patient through the system so I ended up in this position," says Beeson.

Beeson is taking part in the annual 12-hour Relay for Life event which kicks off Friday afternoon at Thomasville High School. Doctors will be on-site giving free screenings.

"We're setting up a booth and a tent. Prostate cancer, cholesterol, skin checks, oral exams, that sort of thing," says Beeson.

For years, doctors have teamed up with the American Cancer Society with the same goal of raising money for research.

"We are the largest non-governmental donator of research funds for the United States," says American Cancer Society Manager Emily Lamontagne.

Doctors say regular screenings should start after age 50 depending on risk factors.

The Relay for Life event starts at six this Friday evening and goes until six Saturday morning. All of the health screenings are being offered free to the public.

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