CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE _ AtlantiCare has opened a new $18.1 million, 21,450 square-foot cancer care facility at its AtlantiCare Health Park here off Courthouse-South Dennis Road.

A ribbon-cutting and reception for the facility is slated for later today but some operations in the two-story facility began on June 24 including radiation, primary care and specialty services. Chemotherapy will begin sometime in August.

The facility is an extension of the AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute, a Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner, based in Egg Harbor Township.

The facility has the latest cancer treatment equipment including a $4 million machine that applies radiation selectively to tumors without harming healthy tissue nearby.

AtlantiCare officials said the facility will provide between 25 and 30 full-time jobs as well as helping other area businesses. Even the artwork displayed on the walls was done by southern New Jersey artists.

Demographics show the county has an aging population and many go to the Philadelphia-area hospitals for treatment.

“A lot of medical care leaves the community and goes to the Philadelphia hospitals and frankly it’s not necessary,” said Glen Stollcq, corporate director for business development at AtlantiCare

Lauren Ochscq, assistant vice president of oncology, women’s and children’s services, said the new facility has “the technology equivalent to what you’d find in a university hospital.”

Cape May County has a large senior citizen population and Ochs said it has a high incidence of lung, breast, skin, prostate and colon rectal cancer. She said about 16 percent of the patients at AtlantiCare’s Egg Harbor Township facility were from Cape May County.