UNC Lenoir Cancer Center hosts open house

KINSTON, NC (WITN) UNC Lenoir Health Care has spent millions to upgrade its cancer center and Thursday they showed it off to the community.

One of the oncologists that spoke during the open house says two-thirds of cancer patients will need radiation to kill the cancer or help with symptoms, just further emphasizing the importance of the new radiation machine.

The Lenoir Foundation and the UNC Lenoir Health Care Cancer Center in Kinston hosted community members to celebrate recent improvements, including the center's TrueBeam Linear Accelerator. The machine offers more targeted and faster radiation to cancer patients.

The cancer center also recently bought a new start of the art CAT scan machine and hospital officials say the upgrades were needed.

Dirk Griffith, Lenoir Hospital Foundation Executive Director says, "Cancer's the number one killer in NC. Lenoir County has a very high incidence of cancer so we want to make sure that we're reaching out to our community and helping everybody that we can."

Hospital officials say the TrueBeam Linear Accelerator actually arrived at the cancer center in July 2016. They say with this machine, treatment will only take 2-3 minutes, compared to the 20-25 minutes on the old machine.