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he robust demand for Duke’s world-class cancer care shows no signs of abating. On the contrary, all indicationsare that demand will continue to risesignicantly as the number of cancercases increases and as the state and localpopulation continues to grow.Duke University Hospital saw morethan 50,000 patients with a diagnosis of cancer in 2010. Nearly 6,000 were newpatients, from virtually every county inNorth Carolina and every state in thenation. More than 60 percent of thepatients were referred to Duke for theirinitial treatment.Meanwhile, clinics and treatmentareas are operating on extended hoursas more than 600 patients are seen everyday in the cancer clinics, infusion centeror to receive radiation therapy – facili-ties never designed to handle anythingapproaching the current volume of patients, let alone to continue to meet theexploding demand for services.The current demand coincides withprojections of signicant future growthlocally and statewide in the numberof new cancer cases. A 16.5 percentstatewide increase in the number of new cancer cases is anticipated over thenext ve years, with the greater Triangleregion bearing much of that burden witha projected increase in new cases of 23.1percent. In 2011 alone, Durham Countyis expected to see more than 1,200 newcases of cancer and Wake County nearly4,000, among nearly 52,000 new cancercases statewide.At the same time, North Carolina’spopulation continues to rise, jumping1.5 million between 2000 and 2010 andfast approaching the 10 million mark.The state now ranks as the 10th mostpopulous in the nation.Likewise the greater Triangle region,Duke’s primary service market and fromwhich most referrals come, continues tosee tremendous growth – particularly inthe core counties of Durham and Wake.The region’s population is forecast at2.41 million by 2015, up 11.5 percentfrom 2010. A recent study projects thatthe Raleigh area will be the nation’sfastest growing metropolitan regionbetween 2010-2020, rising to 1.5 millioninhabitants from 1.2 million.All of the above factors, combinedwith the increase in the number of peopleliving longer as cancer survivors, makeclear the growing and specic need forDuke’s specialty cancer services andprograms, even with the expansion of some other local and regional cancerfacilities.“The existing demand for cancer careat Duke, combined with signicant futuregrowth in the number of new cancercases, creates a critical need to expandour ability to provide multidisciplinary,patient-centered care,” said CarolynCarpenter, associate vice president of oncology services and interim administra-tor of the Duke Cancer Institute. “TheCancer Center facility will be the clinicalcornerstone of the DCI, where we willbridge scientic discovery and clinicalcare to transform how patients andfamilies experience cancer.”When the new Cancer Centerfacility opens in just seven months, it willposition Duke Medicine to accommodateexisting and future demand for cancer
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he new Cancer Center facility is farmore than a signicant investment ina building that will provide the best pos-sible care to patients and their familieswhile enhancing the work environmentfor Duke Cancer Institute faculty andstaff.Those clearly are important elementsof the mission, vision and values of Duke Medicine, and of a new buildingin which everyone, including those notinvolved in cancer care, justiably cantake pride. But the Cancer Center facilityalso represents Duke Medicine’s histori-cal commitment as an organization tolook toward the future and embrace theopportunities and challenges. James B. Duke did exactly that in1925, when he bequeathed $4 million(nearly $50 million today) to create DukeUniversity Hospital, which opened veyears later, as well as medical and nursingschools. Down through the years, DukeMedicine has continued to honor JamesB. Duke’s bold spirit, investing in newbuildings, programs and enterprises thathave forged its reputation as a world-class medical organization.That past serves as a guide asDuke Medicine again invests in itself,its people, its outstanding clinical andresearch programs – in its future – withthe construction of the Cancer Centerfacility and adjoining Duke MedicinePavilion.“To stand still is to fall behind,”said Victor J. Dzau, M.D., chancellorfor health affairs and CEO of DukeUniversity Health System. “As the worldchanges, as the needs of our state andregion change, we must maintain ourproactive vision not just to preserve, butto strengthen, the Duke Medicine enter-prise and our ability to provide the nestavailable care. The new Cancer Centerfacility embodies that commitment.”The health care landscape continuesto evolve in ways James B. Duke couldnever have envisioned. Uncertaintiesabound and competition is keen. But hisvision 86 years ago laid the cornerstonefor today’s Duke Medicine, which hasgrown into an acknowledged leader incancer care – one of our differentiatingclinical areas of expertise with a signi-cant impact on our nancial performance– and in other clinical and research elds.Duke Medicine made the decision tobuild the Cancer Center facility from aposition of market and nancial strengthas an investment in our future. Theproject, along with the Duke MedicinePavilion, will strategically position DukeMedicine for continued success and sta-bility in the future, and ensure its abilityto meet the existing and growing need inthe greater Triangle, state and beyond forthe kind of cutting-edge, compassionatecare that sets Duke apart.“It’s a big milestone and commitmentthat signals growth and the maturingof cancer care at Duke,” said JosephMoore, M.D., a medical oncologist withthe Duke Cancer Institute.
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Special iSSue: cancer center facility