2019 Lake Cumberland Cancer Program Public Report 

As part of its mission of Making Communities Healthier®, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital remains dedicated to the early detection of cancer, high quality treatment for those diagnosed with cancer, and continuous collaboration with partners in cancer care throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  LCRH continues to emerge as a premier regional cancer treatment center, underscored by an increasing number of new cancer cases diagnosed and treated each year. 

Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation is nationally recognized by many organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, National Quality Forum, American Cancer Society, and The Joint Commission, as having established data-driven performance measures for the provision of quality cancer care. The CoC conducts daylong surveys of cancer programs to evaluate scope, organization, and activity.  Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital has maintained its CoC accredidation since April 9, 2007.  To earn this distinction for the past 12 years, Lake Cumberland has met or exceeded 34 CoC standards annually that cover numerous aspects of patient-centered care, including cancer prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, genetic testing and counseling, supportive care, and suvivorship.  Use the links below or scroll down to learn more about cancer care at Lake Cumberland over the past year:

New Technology  |  Public Events  |  Collaborative Care  |  Tumor Board  |  Early Detection  |  Cancer Committee

With New Technology, We've Got the Edge on Cancer Care 

Cancer patients in the area now have access to incredible advances in technology at our treatment center.  In August 2019, the Cancer Treatment Center installed a new TruBeam Linear Accelerator, offering a 6 degrees of freedom couch, IMRT, VMAT, SBRT, and Vision RT Capabilities. This new approach delivers image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).  Image guidance improves tumor targeting, and IMRT shapes the radiation dose so that it conforms closely to the three-dimensional shape of the tumor.  That means more dose to the tumor, and less to surrounding healthy tissues.  By adding this unique form of volumetric modulated arc treatment to the other advanced capabilities including conventional IMRT and image-guided stereotactic treatments, we can offer a wider variety of treatment options based on each of our patients’ specific clinical circumstances.

The Cancer Treatment Center at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital is the only Radiation Oncology Center in our region.  The Center provides radiation treatment to patients with both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.  The team’s personal approach to care means patients develop deep relationships with our staff, as we encourage and support them through treatment.  A social worker assists with cancer policies, insurance questions, emotional support and community resources, and nutritionists visit patients in our facility to provide information on healthy eating, maintaining weight, and nutrition supplements.  Following treatment, patients receive a Survivorship Care Plan which outlines the cancer care they have received from all their doctors, as well as a plan for follow up care and future screenings. 

Prevention & Screening 

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital hosts a number of events each year with a primary focus of cancer prevention, education, and screening.  Details of our 2019 events are below.  

Pounds Off Pulaski Heath Fair
January 2019

On January 28, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital kicked off a year of healthy living by sponsoring a "Pounds Off Pulaski" Health Fair at the Center for Rural Development.  This free, community wide event, offered attendees resources on weight loss, health screenings, nutrition information, initial POP weigh ins, health and human services throughout Pulaski County and informational sessions from local experts on special topics related to health care every half hour.  

Exhibitors at the fair included: The American Cancer Society, Applied Behavioral Advancements, LLC; BioFit Exercise Technologies; Campbellsville University Somerset; Club Fit 24 Hr; Coca-Cola; Comfort Keepers; Continuum Care Hospital at Baptist Corbin; CrossFit Ignis; FitMaxx; Hospice of Lake Cumberland; Intrepid Home Health; Kentucky Cancer Program; Kristina's Kitchen; Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency; LCMA’s new Schoolhouse Mobile Care unit; multiple divisions of Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital including the Cancer Treatment Center, Chest Pain Center, Imaging Center, Medical Associates, Rehab Center, Sleep Center, Stroke Team, Weight Loss Center, and Wound Care Center; Lawrence J. Botzman CFP; Lifeline Home Health Care; Lifeline Homecare; LIFT INC. GYM; Planet Fitness; Pulaski County Extension Service; Sk8ters Paradise; Somerset Parks and Recreation; Somerset-Pulaski County EMS; Somersoul Bodywork and Wellness Studio; The Neighborhood of Somerset; The Shine House; Wellspring Counseling; Women's Care of Lake Cumberland; and Women's Wellness & Anti-Aging of Somerset.

During the 12-week POP challenge following the health fair, meetings were held each Monday evening at the hospital.  The meetings are designed to provide support, information, and helpful tools to help participants stay on track so they can reach their personal goals.  

National Cancer Survivors Day Outreach to Area Churches
June 2019

National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual, treasured "Celebration of Life" that is held in hundreds of communities nationwide on the first Sunday in June. It is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community. On National Cancer Survivors Day®, thousands gather across the globe to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding, and even inspiring.

On June 2, Lake Cumberland celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day with a "7 ways your church can care for those living with cancer" community initiative throughout Pulaski County.  Over ten area churches placed large "7 ways..." posters, supplied by the hospital, in their main lobbies and distributed postcards with the same messaging.  Most had deacons, members of the clergy and other church staff available in the narthex pre- and post-service to speak to attendees about the messaging and offer additional resources. Click here to download a copy of the poster. 

HPV Awareness & Education
July 2019

Leisa Phillippi, MSN, RN, IBCLC attended a Motivational Interviewing for Vaccine Hesitancy train the trainer event in July where multiple people were trained from all areas of Kentucky in hopes of increasing HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine rates.   They were asked to go back to their individual communities and discuss ways of educating and encouraging parents so that they will vaccinate their children for HPV. 

She hosted a Motivational Interviewing for Vaccine Hesitancy training on September 12 at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in hopes of increasing the number of HPV vaccines given to adolescents in the Somerset area.  Unfortunately, many parents choose not to vaccinate their children for HPV for several reasons.  Many think that only those vaccines recommended for attending school are the ones that should be given.  Others have misconceptions on HPV thinking it is only for those people who are sexually active.   There is a small window of time when the vaccine is most effective and that is during the adolescent period.  By getting the HPV vaccine during adolescent age, it drastically decreases the rate of cervical cancer later in life. 

There were several LPN and RN’s from Lake Cumberland Medical Associates that attended and were educated on HPV in general and also how to address parents’ concerns with the vaccine.  After the training they felt better prepared in educating and encouraging parents to vaccinate their children.  To download a flyer on protecting children from HPV cancers, click here.  

Gentlemen, Check Your Engines
September 2019

On Saturday, September 28, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and Lake Cumberland Cancer Treatment Center hosted a free cancer screening at the monthly Somernites Cruise Car Show in downtown Somerset, KY. Our “Gentleman Check Your Engines” event provided Head & Neck screenings, FIT test kits, information on Low Dose CT Scans, and a variety of cancer education materials.  Over 100 community members stopped by the booth for information and 21 individuals were screened.

A Head and Neck Screening is a simple, quick procedure in which the doctor looks in the nose, mouth, and throat for abnormalities and feels for lumps in the neck. If anything unusual is found, the doctor will recommend a more extensive examination. As a result of the screenings, seven individuals were referred back to their primary care provider for further evaluation.

The fecal immunochemical test, or "FIT" test, is a screening test for colon cancer. It tests for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of cancer. FIT only detects human blood from the lower intestines. Medicines and food do not interfere with the test. So it tends to be more accurate and have fewer false positive results than other tests.

Mamm & Glamm
October 2019

On October 16, the Lake Cumberland Imaging Center hosted a Mamm & Glam morning which featured free mammography screenings using 3-D mammography.  This imaging test uses advanced technology  to take multiple X-rays of  breast tissue to create a 3-D picture. This technology gives a clearer view of breast masses and makes it easier to detect breast cancer earlier.  

Guests were also treated to manicures, neck massages, fun giveaways and tours of the new Center, as well as coffee, muffins, and breakfast treats - all for free!  Recognizing that early detection saves lives, LCRH plans to continue these special mammography focused events over the course of the next year in hopes of raising even greater awareness of the importance of annual mammograms for the health of our community.  

Breast Cancer Symposium
October 2019

The 17th Annual Breast Cancer Symposium, sponsored by Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and the Alton Blakely Family of Dealerships was held at the Center for Rural Development on Monday, October 28.  Over 380 attendees, including over 150 Breast Cancer Survivors were treated to a luncheon filled with educational information, a special ceremony recognizing survivors, and a keynote address by guest speaker Monica Hardin. A Louisville native and 2001 Miss Kentucky, Monica anchors the noon news on WLKY and began a very personal battle with breast cancer in 2018.  Her incredible story of perseverance, open-ness with her tv fans, and the support of her family and friends left survivors and supporters alike, inspired and encouraged.

Attendees were also invited to stay after the luncheon and explore over 40 exhibit tables from companies such as Brobe, Macy's, Soma Intimates, Awakenings Boutique, and more - all tailored to women, breast cancer survivors, and caregivers.  

Fighting Cancer is a Team Effort 

As part of our continuing focus on making communities healthier, we are a proud partner of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network, which provides our patients with enhanced access to high-quality cancer care. The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network enhances access to high-quality cancer care through collaboration with community hospitals. Our vision is for Kentuckians and those from surrounding states to have access to excellent cancer care.  The Markey Affiliate Network assists doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical staff at local hospitals that provide excellent care in their communities. When patients need care that is not available locally, they can be referred to the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington. When that happens, Markey doctors work with LCRH doctors and oncologists to minimize travel for patients and their families.  

Markey also works with LCRH to plan and host a number of local cancer prevention events and activities, such as health fairs, cancer screening programs
and survivorship events.  

Additional benefits to Patients & Families include:

  • Access to the latest, most up-to-date treatments – minimizing travel time.
  • Local resources to help families/caregivers support their loved one.
  • Local cancer prevention events and activities (health fairs, cancer screening programs)

Additional benefits to our Medical Community include:

  • Cancer-specific education and training for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical staff.
  • Ensure high-quality standards through Commission on Cancer accreditation.
  • Access to specialized programs such as genetic counseling.
  • Coordination of cancer care with primary care and referring doctors – before, during and after treatment.

Stronger, Together 

Tumor Board

Cancer is a complex, complicated condition. When you have a cancer diagnosis, you want as many people as possible working together to offer multidisciplinary opinions in order to ensure you receive quality care, the right treatment, and the best outcomes. At Lake Cumberland, our monthly Tumor Board operates solely for this purpose — to allow practitioners to meet as a team weekly to discuss difficult cancer cases and work out the best way to treat each patient.  If a case demands discussion and input — such as an advanced tumor, an unusual pathology finding or something concerning after surgery — it is best done at the tumor board.

The Lake Cumberland Tumor Board is made up of surgeons, oncologists, radiation specialists, medical oncologists, pathologists, and hematolgists who may seek input from other disciplines, such as pain management. The boards function in several formats, including: 

  • As part of a regularly held, multidisciplinary clinic where specialists personally evaluate patients, then meet as a board to discuss each case (they also may review cases requested by community-based clinicians);
  • As stand-alone meetings to review cases complete with diagnostic imaging, biopsy findings and the patients’ medical histories; and
  • As virtual meetings with visual and audio communication between multiple locations.

Services to patients may include genetic counseling, nutrition education, or guidance about social services and financial assistance. The tumor board sometimes gives their treatment recommendations directly to the patient; but in most cases, findings are relayed to the requesting physician. 

Kicking the Habit & Catching the Cancer Early

Lake Cumberland Focuses on Lung Cancer Screenings and Early Detection

Kentucky has the highest rate of new lung cancer cases in the US. Kentucky's lung cancer incidence rate is 92.6 out of 100,000 people. The national rate is 59.6. Kentucky also has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates with 17.6%. According to the ALA, part of the reason lung cancer is so deadly is because most cases are diagnosed at a later stage after the disease has spread, but the Lake Cumberland Cancer Treatment Center is taking strides to reduce death rates from Lung Cancer with dramatic increases in Low Dose CT Scan rates year over year.  

The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography (also called a low-dose CT scan, or LDCT). During an LDCT scan, an X-ray machine uses a low dose (amount) of radiation to make detailed images of the lungs. The scan only takes a few minutes and is not painful.

To be eligible for a lung cancer screening patients must be:

  • 55 years or older
  • Have smoked at least:  1 pack per day for 30 years; 2 packs per day for 15 years; or, 3 packs per day for 10 years. 
  • Must be a current or former smoker (Those who have quit in the past 15 years may still qualify). 

Whether a patient wants help to stop smoking or a physician thinks it's time to schedule a screening, the Lake Cumberland Cancer Treatment Center and Lake Cumberland Imaging Center are available to answer questions or help patients decide if a screening is right for them.  Click here to download a flyer about low-dose CT scans and learn more.  

2019 LCRH Commission on Cancer Committee Members  

Member Position
Marilyn McMillen, MD Cancer Committee Chair, Pathology 
Tommy Shelton, MD Cancer Liaison Physician, Surgery                                                    
Amtullah Khan, MD Radiation Oncology, Cancer Conference
Jennifer Smith, MD Diagnostic Radiology 
N. Mullai, MD Medical Oncology, Clinical Research 
Michelle Hacker, RTT, RN Oncology Nursing 
Deborah Carey, CSW Psychosocial Services 
Tammy Ninnemann, MLT, ASCP, CTR Cancer Registry Quality 
Jane Fry, Senior Director Radiology Services Quality Improvement
Michael Citak, M.D. Cancer Program Administrator
Mandy Prather Community Outreach, Public Reporting
Kathy Monroe, RHIA Health Information Management
Dianna Maybrier, MS, RD, LD Nutrition
Kylie Flores, MS, RD, LD Nutrition
Amanda Ferebee, PharmD Pharmacy
Kevin Crabtree, PharmD Pharmacy
Euretha McQueary Hospice
Lydia Moore, RN Hospice
Brooke Whitis American Cancer Society
Julie Waters American Cancer Society
Ben Stivers, MD Surgery
Bachar Kassern, MD Medical Oncology, Clinical Research
Melissa Cromer, MLT,ASCP Cancer Registry
Kerri Helmes, CTR Cancer Registry