Cancer care in Gwinnett could
use an upgrade

Wayne Sikes' column ("Open-heart services are needed here," Perspective, Oct. 7) was very insightful and addressed the need for an open-heart program at Gwinnett Medical Center. It is indeed time for Gwinnett County and GMC to enter the 21st century and provide the needed medical services for all patients of Gwinnett County.

As Sikes states, Gwinnett County is the most highly populated county in the nation without an open-heart program. With the guidance and support of our citizens, the realization of a comprehensive program will provide the much needed cardiac services.

I wish to take the needs of Gwinnett County's patients one step further. Although Gwinnett County is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, we do not have access to a community-based Comprehensive Cancer Center. There are more than 1,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year at Gwinnett Medical Center.

The cancer survivors and their families must look to other community hospital programs for support during their time of need. The patients deserve to have cancer services provided to them in an integrated system of care.

I raise the challenge to the board of directors of Gwinnett Medical Center to open their eyes to see how much the cancer survivor needs the services of a cancer program. I realize at this time the cardiac program is at the top of the list. Cancer patients also deserve your attention and help.

Please bring a much needed cancer program to the county and make Gwinnett Medical Center a place for all patients.