DCH Cancer Center offers Excellent Care, Hope and Healing

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The numbers do not lie, and they are grim. Over half a million people die of cancer in our country each year, over 10,000 in our state. And every year in our own city, at DCH hospital alone, doctors diagnose over 1,000 new cases. The disease costs an estimated $263.8 billion in lost productivity and illness annually, and $20 billion in losses from premature death. But of course the numbers only tell part of the story. There is no counting the cost of the pain, suffering, fear and death that cancer brings.


Last Tuesday, Domingo Valpuesta shared something of these grim realities with Tuscaloosa Rotarians. But he also shared how much hope and healing we have in our community as a result of the new DCH Cancer Center, and its affiliation with the renowned M. D. Anderson Physicians Network. As director of the Center, Valpuesta oversees day-to-day operations, and works with the Cancer Center’s physicians and staff to ensure a high quality of care for patients. He also directs the Center’s affiliation with Anderson. Rotarian Molly Baldwin introduced the speaker.


The new DCH cancer center is the impressive result of a $40 million project upgrade, one that included not only the purchase of new state-of-the-art equipment, but innovative new architecture as well: One of its centerpieces is a $7 million renovation that established an open- air treatment area for chemotherapy patients and their families.


Even more impressive is the upgrade in status through DCH’s affiliation with M. D. Anderson. Earned through a focused effort to meet a range of rigorous criteria, that affiliation allows Tuscaloosa-area cancer patients access to the physicians and treatments of one of the most effective cancer programs in the world (U.S. News has ranked Anderson the number one center for cancer treatment for the past five years). The benefits — the best protocols for diagnosis, the latest, evidence-based treatments, and a wide range of support networks locally and across the country — are helping make our own DCH one of the nation’s leaders in the fight against a devastating disease.

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