Cancer Survivor Clinic on Wheels

Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Centre and the Moncrief Cancer Institute of the UT Southwestern Medical Center have created the Mobile Cancer Survivor Clinic. This vehicle is an 18-wheeler, fully-equipped clinic that reaches out to cancer survivors from 9 rural areas of the state of Texas.

This 75-feet long, custom-built cancer clinic cost almost $1.1 million and is the first of its kind. It is equipped with exercise equipment, a video conference set-up for consultations, two exam rooms for patients, a 3D mammography unit and telemedicine connections which patients can use to set-up follow-up appointments and care.

The Mobile Cancer Survivor Clinic will reach out to almost 15,000 cancer survivors over the space of almost 7,000 miles, who do not have insurance protection and cannot afford the follow-ups, check-ups and post-cancer treatments.

Various motives behind setting up the mobile clinic

Dr. Daniel Podolsky, UT Southwestern’s President says, “We are committed to making it possible for even those who live at a distance from our facilities to benefit from the research, genetic counseling, and other services that would not otherwise be available in these communities”.

The reason why Texas saw the inception of the Mobile Cancer Survivor Clinic is that most cancer survivors work multiple jobs to support their families, or they have various disabilities, work far away from hospitals, or are too weak to go to a hospital. An oncologist with the clinic says that due to these reasons, they can reach out, instead of the other way round.

Apart from physical factors of requiring care and treatment, these patients are often prone to depression, anxiety, trauma, fatigue and weakness, which is all the more why they need medical attention. The National Cancer Institute has released reports that almost 5% of US population, which is 18 million people, by 2022 will be cancer survivors.

A noble initiative that will benefit thousands

Associate Dean of Oncology at the Harold C. Simmons Center, Dr. James K. Wilson says, “Our collaboration brings the expertise of top physicians in the cancer field to those who have the most difficulty accessing services”.

Breast cancer survivor, Linda Mansky, says that house calls will be a great relief to cancer survivors, as they face various problems, the most important being transport.

This Mobile Cancer Survivor Clinic has received funding from a federal giant. It is considered to be one-of-a-kind, as it provides follow-up care, and not pre-cancer treatment. It is expected to start touring in April.

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