New Athens center will bring breast cancer treatment under one roof

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with disease

When a shadow or dark spot is found on a mammogram, a patient is sent to get an ultrasound, an MRI, a biopsy and maybe another MRI. Then, depending on the results, radiation and chemotherapy may follow. Depending on where you live, these procedures might all be at different locations.

Now though, patients in Athens will soon have a new, more convenient option.

“All of that is spread all over Athens. It’s disjointed, so the goal has been for a long time to make this into one cohesive program where we are all working together,” Dr. Cody Gunn, an Athens surgeon for more than 30 years, told the Athens Banner-Herald.

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That goal is now within reach. University Cancer & Blood Center in Athens announced last week it is constructing a new facility that will put comprehensive breast cancer care under one roof.

“UCBC has totally facilitated making it happen,” Gunn said, adding the campus will be open within a year.

Being told you have breast cancer can trigger anxiety, depression, denial and a host of other emotions. Having to figure out where each treatment facility is, drive to it, navigate a new building with new staff can add to the stress.

According to Gunn, if you’re at the new center and receive a cancer diagnosis, you will get an organized treatment plan right there. “Ideally, you could potentially see all these people on the same day,” he told the Banner-Herald.

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The only exception to this one stop treatment procedure would be surgeries, Gunn said. Those would still take place at St. Mary’s Hospital or Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.

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