Nobody plans to have cancer. But if a diagnosis comes, people in Richardson and the surrounding communities have a place nearby where they can receive treatment. UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center in Richardson, located just two blocks north of The University of Texas at Dallas campus, offers a warm and welcoming environment along with top cancer specialists, cutting-edge therapies, and key support services customized for cancer patients. Simmons Cancer Center patients at all locations, including Richardson, Dallas, and Fort Worth, also have access to an urgent care clinic specifically for them, onsite labs and imaging, genetic counselors, dietitians, and rehabilitation specialists.
When chemotherapy is part of the treatment plan, patients have private rooms, where visitors can keep them company, or semi-private spaces, if they have shorter infusions or prefer to interact
with other patients.
“Simmons Cancer Center is designed to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your care,” said Lesley Conrad, M.D., a gynecologic cancer specialist (pictured on the cover), who sees patients at the Richardson location.
Why Close-to-Home Matters
Research has shown that patients who are able to receive cancer treatment close to their home and support network can enhance their health outcomes and general well-being. That’s because the burden of traveling to large, unfamiliar, metropolitan areas for cancer care — plus the added expense of travel and time away from home and family — can cause added mental and physical stress, and that stress can hinder cancer therapy or even cause patients to stop going to their treatments.
Simmons Cancer Center is not only conveniently located in Richardson but also is one of only three National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers in Texas and is ranked among the top 20 cancer facilities nationally by U.S. News & World Report. This nationally recognized cancer center offers Richardson and surrounding communities the latest in diagnosis and treatment right in their own neighborhood.
Suzanne Cole, M.D., is the medical director of UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center in Richardson. “We have a three-part mission — research, education, and patient care,” she said. “In cancer treatment, early detection can be a game-changer. And research has shown that where you’re treated first matters. We’re able to provide the Richardson community with the latest imaging plus any infusions needed here in Richardson without having to travel to the main UT Southwestern campus in Dallas. Early detection and early treatment are resulting in better outcomes for our cancer patients.”
Simmons Cancer Center is part of an academic medical center at the forefront of surgical advancement. “One of the cool things about having the clinic in Richardson is that we have access to these amazing treatments for cancer as well as some of the best surgical oncologists providing the latest in surgical care, and we’re able to utilize them in our clinic to make it more convenient for our patients,” Dr. Cole said. “For a patient who’s just received a cancer diagnosis requiring surgery, you only get one chance to get it right. You don’t want your surgery performed by someone who does that particular surgery once a year or has only performed one of those surgeries in their career. You want a cancer surgeon who does this every day. That’s who I work with. We have access to giants of oncology, and that’s what we offer our patients.”
Research and Clinical Trials
Dr. Cole began her career in a general community practice that also had access to clinical trials. Witnessing the successes of those trials is what motivated her to transfer to Simmons Cancer Center, where there’s currently access to over 300 cancer clinical trials. “For any type of cancer, there are national treatment standards,” she said. “Our patients have access to that standard care but often also have the option of participating in a clinical trial for an additional drug that might be better than what’s currently available. They could access a drug now that may become the standard in five years.”
Suzanne Cole, M.D.
UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer
Center in Richardson
Simmons Cancer Center advances the treatment and prevention of cancer through novel research, innovative therapies, leading-edge clinical trials, and the latest technology. At all Simmons Cancer Center locations, including the one in Richardson, plus two locations in Dallas and one in Fort Worth, patients have access to:
• Top national cancer specialists
• Advanced imaging
• Private infusion suites offering immunotherapy and chemotherapy
• Onsite labs
• Urgent care specific to cancer patients
• Dietitians, social workers, genetic counselors, and rehabilitation specialists
• Clinical trials
Putting Patients First
“We’re able to provide our patients with true collaborative care with many medical professionals conferring and consulting on treatment, which makes for seamless visits,” Dr. Conrad said. “Behind the scenes, we’re all connected and invested in the patient’s care. I hope the patients feel that collaborative spirit and patient-first mentality because that’s truly one of the things that makes Simmons Cancer Center and UT Southwestern so unique.”
Find out more at UTSWMED.org/Cancer.