LAWTON — Rural cancer patients often face life-threatening hurdles in their quest for treatment. Oncologist Nadin Nimeh can attest to their struggles. He has fought cancer on the front lines of southwest Oklahoma for the past 20 years in Lawton.
“Some patients just say, ‘It’s too much for me and my families,’” Dr. Nimeh said. “The biggest reason is distance. They might live in Hollis and have to drive 60 or 70 miles to Lawton for treatment. They might not be able to get a ride, or they might have a son or daughter drive them and they have to take off work the entire day. A lot of people don’t even want to ask their own family for a ride. “Sometimes, it all becomes too stressful.” Now there’s some good news. Help is on the way. Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton, Duncan Regional Hospital in Duncan, and Jackson County Memorial Hospital in Altus banded together eight years ago to plan the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma. The unique partnership among competing hospitals will bring satellite cancer centers to Duncan and Altus, allowing regional patients easier access to the latest radiation and chemotherapy treatment. The Duncan center will be the first to accept patients in September.