Realizing that black women are 33 times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than any other ethnic group and black men are one and a half times more likely to suffer from prostate cancer than white men, Hampton University is planning the construction of a cancer treatment center.
The $189 million, 64,000 square foot Proton Beam Therapy Center will use proton radiation to treat about 2,000 breast, lung, eye and pediatric cancer patients a year with a focus on prostate cancer and is expected to open on the University’s campus in late 2008.
According to www.hampton.edu, “proton beam therapy is a type of radiation that can precisely target tumors while sparing surrounding tissue and causing far fewer side effects than traditional radiation.”
”This facility will not only improve human suffering it will definitely save lives,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey in a press release. “For over a decade Hampton University faculty researchers have been involved with cancer research and treatment is a natural extension of the research.”
Once completed, Hampton will house the fourth proton beam center in the United States, with the others located at the University of Indiana, Loma Linda Medical Center in Southern California, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Others are expected to open as soon as one year in Jacksonville, Fla., Houston and Philadelphia.
”Hampton University has been very active in the whole concept of reducing health disparities,” Harvey told FOX news. “We’re not building this solely for minorities … but it will help.”
While Harvey asserts that helping minorities was only one factor in deciding to create the Proton Beam Therapy Center, Hampton University officials recently announced plans to construct a biomedical research center to investigate ways of fighting cancers disproportionately impacting minorities.