• read more about SMART


    SMART Cancer Center: Safer, Better, Cheaper.

    • Arc techniques minimize second cancers
    • 6 MV LINAC provides maximum sparing of critical organs
    • 3D Treatment significantly reduces costs
  • Educate yourself


    Patient Education through Physician Education.

    • Franklin County Cancer Committee
    • Franklin County Breast Care Team
    • American Cancer Society Resource Center


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Dr. McLaurin Opens Cancer Resource Center

Cancer Center Grand Opening

With the simple snip of a ribbon, Franklin County gained a new weapon in the on-going struggle against cancer.

Shortly after noon Tuesday, the American Cancer Society opened a Cancer Resource Center, only the second in the eastern portion of the state, within the office of Franklin County Cancer Center on Jolly Street.

The center is owned and operated by Dr. Robert McLaurin who is donating space to the Cancer Society to provide additional resources to those fighting the dreaded disease.

Dr. McLaurin and the ACS are dedicating the resource center in memory of his mother, Dr. Kathleen Spellman McLaurin.

“As many of you know, my mother passed away last year.  She lived a long, rich, happy life, full of passion and purpose.  She was a physician and a pioneer and a champion of many worthwhile causes,” Dr. McLaurin said.

“She raised five kids with one simple mandate: do the very best that you can do with whatever you have to work with.

“In her last days, as she was drifting away, mostly sleeping, she woke up one day to find her children gathered about the foot of her bed.  In her typical feisty fashion she said, ‘Haven’t you got something better to do?’

“It was her way of saying, ‘Life is short; there is no time to waste.  Get back to work; you have important things to do!’” Dr. McLaurin said.

“So, this endeavor is my way of honoring her life and her last request, by joining forces with the ACS, and doing something really special for the good people of Franklin County,” he added.

Read more about the opening of the cancer center  Visit the American Cancer Society

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SMART approach to cancer

DEVICE EXPLAINED Dr. Robert McLaurin explains the value of a Stereotactic frame that he invented. Shown here with Dr. McLaurin is Jamie Staton who is chief therapist at the local cancer center. (Times photo by Gary Cunard)

“Technology is a necessary ingredient, but it’s not sufficient,” says cancer fighter Dr. Robert McLaurin — and that may seem like an unusual statement coming from a man who has dedicated his life to beaming
radioactivity into patients to kill malignant cells.

To paraphrase cyclist Lance Armstrong, he adds, “it’s not about the accelerator.”

Dr. McLaurin, owner of Franklin County Cancer Center and a radiation oncologist, explains that dealing with cancer is not merely about the size and power of the radiation-producing equipment, it’s also the careful, exacting control of the dose that can spell the difference between successful treatment and dangerous side effects.

And though precise control is a primary goal, personalized care is equally important — and that’s why it’s not uncommon for Dr. McLaurin to cast a curious eye on the waiting room or even the parking lot of his Louisburg clinic to determine which patients are visiting for treatment and to make sure they are getting their treatments promptly and without unnecessary waiting.

Dr. McLaurin, who opened the Franklin County Cancer Center in the former Perry-Medders Clinic adjacent to Franklin Regional Medical Center in 2006, has drawn on a robust educational background to develop the skills necessary to create a concept he calls the SMART Clinic. (The clinic is not associated with FRMC.)

As an undergraduate at Emory University, Dr. McLaurin studied physics — and developed a working knowledge of radiation and its effects. Then it was off to medical school where he earned a medical doctor’s degree, followed by a residency in Texas.  Read more about SMART approach to cancer

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Fighting Back Against Breast Cancer

Years ago, before there were any cancer specialists in Franklin County, it was not unheard of for a woman to develop an aggressive type of breast cancer, go undiagnosed and die prematurely, if not unnecessarily, of her disease.

Dr. McLaurin and his team of oncology specialists at the Franklin County Cancer Center are working hard to change that. The Franklin County Breast Care Service, which operates within the Franklin County Cancer Center, provides education to physicians and patients alike, so that fewer lives will be lost.

“Early detection and effective treatment of breast cancer saves lives,” says Dr. McLaurin. “If caught early, the prognosis is excellent. Due to continued advances in our knowledge and treatment techniques, most women only need minimally invasive surgery. In the earliest cases, many women don’t even need chemo.”

“Treatment that produces more cures with fewer complications promotes a virtuous cycle. The easier the treatment, the more likely women are to actively participate with their doctors to catch the disease early, which leads to even higher cure rates.”

“Knowledge is power. To a large extent, the war on breast cancer is a battle against ignorance. We aim to provide women with all the knowledge they need,” McLaurin says.

Dr. McLaurin hosts monthly Breast Care Team meetings in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Resource Center, which is located within the Cancer Center. The meetings include regular presentations about the latest information and the newest techniques. The Breast Care Team is bringing a modern approach to the care of cancer patients. The fundamental principle underlying the modern approach is teamwork. Read more about Fighting Back Against Breast Cancer