The presentation occurred during the chamber’s regular monthly meeting at Lee’s Restaurant on Tuesday.
Bagwell, who has been with the cancer center since its inception 13 years ago, discussed new technology, drugs and treatment available for treating cancer patients, as well as those with other ailments commonly treated by the center’s hematologists. The center is located on the campus of Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper.
According to Bagwell, the center treats approximately 250 to 300 people each week.
Although the center treats all types of cancer, Bagwell said that the most common is lung cancer, since Walker County ranks highest in incidents of that specific type of cancer.
“Walker County is first in lung cancer,” Bagwell said. “We’ve always been first and probably will be for generations.”
Bagwell said that much of the reason for that statistic is the history of Walker County as a coal mining area. She said she receives about six or seven black lung claims each week.
She also said the high incidence of obesity in Walker County works against the patients. According to Bagwell, the national average for obesity is 63 percent, and Walker County’s rate is 68 percent.
Those are just a few of the challenges that Bagwell says the staff at Walker Cancer Center face each week. She says that deciding on an individual cancer plan is different for each person, depending on a number of variables.
“You can’t just treat the sick person and send them out the door,” Bagwell said. “It’s more complicated than that.”
In other business:
•The next meet-and-greet for the East Walker Chamber will be at the Sumiton Community Center on Oct. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m.
•The chamber’s annual Health Fair will be held at Lee’s Restaurant on Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Booths are free for members of the East Walker Chamber and $20 for any non-member.
•The second annual 5k run and one-mile fun run, which will benefit local schools and the Dora Mining Museum, will be on Oct. 13.