LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2014) — University of Kentucky faculty and students are invited to share their latest work in cancer research by submitting abstracts and attending Markey Cancer Center Research Day on May 22, 2014.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Singletary Center for the Arts will play host to a daylong event that showcases the work of cancer researchers from all disciplines at the University of Kentucky. Last year, Markey Research Day featured 142 posters and more than 350 attendees.
This year, Nobel Laureate Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute, will present the Susan B. Lester Memorial Lecture. As always, UK Markey Cancer Center Director Dr. Mark Evers will present the “State of the Cancer Center Address.”
Those interested may register and/or submit abstracts online. Deadline for the call for abstracts is Monday, March 17.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2014) — UK Women's Health Obstetrics & Gynecology has added an oncofertility specialist to its team. Dr. Leslie A. Appiah joins UK HealthCare as a board-certified gynecologist with expertise in oncofertility and fellowship training in pediatric and adolescent gynecology. Dr. Appiah brings five years of experience from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she served as director of oncofertility and fellowship director of pediatric and adolescent gynecology.
Appiah will serve as director of oncofertility at UK. She will work closely with subspecialists in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, the Markey Cancer Center and Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Appiah and her team will collaborate to preserve the fertility and reproductive health of pediatric, adolescent and adult cancer and blood disorder patients of all genders.
Dr. Appiah attended medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She completed her residency in OB-GYN at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and a clinical fellowship in pediatric and adolescent gynecology at Texas Children’s Hospital. She has received several teaching awards including the Johns Hopkins Excellence in Teaching Award.
Dr. Appiah’s interests include fertility preservation, minimally invasive surgery, congenital anomalies of the reproductive tract, hormone replacement therapy and endometriosis.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or email@example.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2014) -- Ann L. Coker, professor at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and College of Medicine, is the recipient of a Visionary Voice Award, a national award that recognizes the creativity and hard work of individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to end sexual violence. The award is sponsored by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
The award was presented to Coker by the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) at their Sexual Assault Awareness Month Awards Dinner on Feb. 26, 2014. The event followed a ceremony at the Kentucky State Capitol proclaiming March as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Coker says that she shares KASAP's vision that preventing sexual violence is possible and that public health approaches can play an important role.
"We are evaluating the first statewide, randomized intervention trial in 26 high schools across Kentucky," she said. "The intervention, Green Dot, is a bystander–based program to increase awareness of sexual violence and dating violence and empower high school students to safely and effectively intervene with their peers to change attitudes and behaviors and thereby reduce risk of violence. I am honored to have the opportunity to be a partner in this important research. Working on this project clarifies the importance of rigorous public health training and matched with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.”
KASAP Executive Director Eileen Recktenwald says that it’s becoming easier for people to talk about sexual violence, and that is making a difference. “It’s gotten a lot easier to talk about, because – from the White House down – we are seeing a straightforward response to the problem,” she said.
Coker joined UK in 2007, when she became the inaugural Verizon Wireless Endowed Chair in the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women. She is nationally recognized as an expert on the effects partner violence on women’s health. Coker has worked extensively in the field of women’s health, particularly in areas of intimate partner violence, interventions to reduce the risk of violence that impact both men and women’s health, women’s chronic diseases, and reproductive and sexual health. Among other projects, she is currently investigating whether violence against women results in disparities in cancer care for women.
The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs is the coalition of Kentucky’s 13 Regional Rape Crisis Centers. The representatives of each of the 13 Rape Crisis Centers make up KASAP’s board of directors. Since it was established in 1990, KASAP has served as a central point of contact on sexual violence issues in Kentucky. KASAP provides technical assistance to member programs and other professionals, advocates for improvements in public policy, fosters coalition building among members and those with common concerns, and promotes prevention and public awareness regarding sexual violence and related issues.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mallory Powell, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 21, 2014) — The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and Markey Cancer Center announce the creation of the Center for Nanobiotechnology, which will be led by Peixuan Guo, UK’s William S. Farish Fund Endowed Chair in Nanobiotechnology.
Nanotechnology is the development and engineering of devices so small that they are measured on a nanometer scale. Nanoscale devices can work as parts of body organs, tissues, and drug carriers to interact with biomolecules on both the surface and inside cells. Because they have access to so many areas of the body, they have the potential to detect diseases and deliver treatments in newer and more effective ways.
The newly-established center will bring together biomedical experts working in nanobiotechnology in UK’s Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine. All faculty with research interests in nanobiotechnology, such as nanoscale biomaterials, nanobiomechanics, nanomedicine, nanodrug delivery, nanoimunology, nanophotonics, biomolecular imaging, micro- and nano-scale biosensors, biochips, and RNA nanotechnology, are invited to engage with the center.
MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, (859) 323-2396, or Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2014) – How would you react if you’d just been told you have cancer?
“You freak out,” said 57-year-old Tony Stone, a current patient at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. “You don’t know what to do.”
Stone, who hails from Liberty, Ky., came to Markey last fall after getting diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer at a local hospital. The diagnosis came just six months after he retired from a long career – 36 years – as an iron worker.
The timing wasn’t just poor because it put an end to Stone’s well-deserved break – it also meant a serious blow to his finances. Stone had elected to forego health insurance upon retirement because he couldn’t continue to afford the $900/month payments without his job.
Faced with what seemed like insurmountable expenses and a terminal disease, Stone made the initial trip to Markey on a friend’s recommendation. Though he knew to expect top-of-the-line medicine and treatment from the cancer center, he hadn’t expected the other aspect of cancer care he would receive at Markey – the emotional and personal support from Markey’s Psych-Oncology Services team.
Located on the third floor of Markey’s Whitney-Hendrickson building, the Psych-Oncology team is devoted to providing much-needed assistance to Markey’s patients. Every day, financial counselor Michele Ratcliffe, clinical dietitian Rachel Miller, American Cancer Society patient navigator Melanie Wilson, oncology social workers Jenny Delap and Angie Pennington, and licensed clinical social worker Joan Scales meet with new and ongoing patients to assess their needs on a more personal and emotional level.
In general, research shows that hospital patients who receive counseling and support for psychosocial distress have reduced hospitalizations, length of stays, physician visits, emergency department visits, and prescriptions. Markey’s Psych-Oncology team was assembled specifically to deal with the non-medical “side effects” of cancer – while oncologists, radiation medicine specialists and surgeons can recommend and perform specific medical treatments, this team focuses on fixing the everyday stressors that may impede a patient’s ability to get the full benefits of their medical care.
“The question we focus on is ‘What are the tangible, basic needs that we can get for the patient?’” said Delap.
For many patients, those needs includes assistance with paying for medication, getting insurance, creating a living will or an advanced directive, help with transportation or lodging costs, or referrals to national programs that may offer further assistance.
In Stone’s case, it first meant help with his finances – Delap helped him apply for disability and insurance coverage to help pay for the 35 radiation sessions and three rounds of chemotherapy he endured.
Because of the location of his cancer and subsequent radiation – the head and neck area – Stone was unable to physically eat his food during and following treatment, and a feeding tube was placed in his stomach. And that’s where Miller came in. As Markey’s dietitian, her job is to ensure that patients are getting the nutrition they need to stay strong through their treatments.
During her visits with patients, Miller counsels patients on what specific foods they should eat, how often to eat, and how to make foods taste better during chemotherapy (which can affect the taste buds, making previously appetizing foods seem bland or have an undesirable taste). Or, for patients like Stone, how to use the feeding tube and what to put in it for optimal caloric intake.
“Staying nourished can become a chore during cancer treatment, especially for patients who have lost their appetites or don’t feel well enough to eat,” Miller said. “It’s a catch-22, because you need to be fully nourished at the same time that you feel the least like eating.”
Sometimes, a patient’s needs are even more basic. Wilson, who is Kentucky’s only American Cancer Society patient navigator, said the first thing she was able to do for Stone was get him a bandanna to cover his head as his hair began to fall out. She often fulfills similar cosmetic requests by procuring wigs and other head coverings, or by referring patients to the ACS's Look Good... Feel Better program, which is facilitated on site by a licensed cosmetologist and helps patients combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Additionally, she makes patient referrals to a variety of services that can assist with funding transportation or lodging during treatment.
Wilson has fulfilled some unique requests in her time at Markey – including making sure that an out-of-town patient’s dog was taken care of during a long stay at the cancer center – but she says that any little thing she can do to help ease the patient’s mind during their time at Markey is worth it.
“It may not seem like much, but it’s one less thing for them to worry about,” she said.
But perhaps the most important thing the Psych-Oncology team offers is the simplest of all – an ear to listen. Collectively, the team agrees that they provide an opportunity for patients to talk about their individual situations with no judgment, and to make requests or ask questions that they might feel uncomfortable asking of their physicians or nurses. Both Delap and Pennington note that they make an estimated 35-40 contacts per week – they regularly check in through in-person visits, texts, and phone calls to make sure the patients are continuing to get what they need on every level throughout the treatment process and beyond.
“We get to know certain patients really well,” Delap said. “We provide an outlet for them, an extra person to lean on during a hard time.”
It was that level of personal support that made all the difference for Stone, a self-described “tough guy” who found himself initially overwhelmed by his grim diagnosis.
“They’ve been there for me when I was scared out of my mind,” Stone said. “You just don’t find this kind of caring people out there in the world… it takes a special kind of person to do this.”
For more information on the services and programs provided by Markey’s Psych-Oncology team, please contact supervisor Joan Scales at email@example.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2014) -- More than 100 UK HealthCare physicians affiliated with University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital and UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital appear on the Best Doctors in America® List for 2014 -- more than any other hospital in Kentucky. Only five percent of doctors in America earn this prestigious honor, decided by impartial peer review.
The Best Doctors in America® List, assembled by Best Doctors, Inc. and audited and certified by Gallup®, results from exhaustive polling of over 45,000 physicians in the United States. Doctors in over 40 specialties and 400 subspecialties of medicine appear on this year’s List.
In a confidential review, current physician listees answer the question, “If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer?” Best Doctors, Inc. evaluates the review results, and verifies all additional information to meet detailed inclusion criteria.
In bringing together the best medical minds in the world, Best Doctors works with expert physicians from its Best Doctors in America® List to help its 30 million members worldwide get the right diagnosis and right treatment.
The experts who are part of the Best Doctors in America® database provide the most advanced medical expertise and knowledge to patients with serious conditions – often saving lives in the process by finding the right diagnosis and right treatment.
The 2014 Best Doctors in America® from UK HealthCare and their specialty are:
About Best Doctors, Inc.:
Best Doctors works with the best five percent of doctors, ranked by impartial peer review, to help people get the right diagnosis and right treatment. The company’s innovative, peer-to-peer consultation service offers a convenient new way for physicians to collaborate with other physicians to ensure patients receive the best care. The global health solutions company, which has grown to over 30 million members worldwide, uses state-of-the-art technology capabilities to deliver improved health outcomes while reducing costs. Gallup® has audited and certified Best Doctors’ database of physicians, and its companion Best Doctors in America® List, as using the highest industry standards survey methodology and processes. Founded in 1989 by Harvard Medical School physicians, Best Doctors seamlessly integrates its trusted health services with Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 employers, insurers and other groups in every major region of the world. The company also designs and implements international insurance programs that help people be sure they get the right health solutions.
For further information, visit Best Doctors at http://www.bestdoctors.com, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or call (800) 223-5003.
Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 13, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has become one of the first cancer centers in the country to offer the latest model of the Varian TrueBeam for its patients.
The Varian TrueBeam is an advanced radiotherapy system from Varian Medical Systems, designed to deliver powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision. Using advanced imaging and motion management technologies, Markey radiation oncologists are able to deliver highly complex treatments more quickly compared to other available machines, while monitoring and compensating for tumor and organ movement.
The TrueBeam's accuracy allows it to be used on cancers in particularly sensitive areas with significant organ and tissue mobility, including those of the abdomen, liver, lung, breast, and head and neck.
Additionally, Markey's TrueBeam is the first in the world to be installed using the small vault configuration (SVC) model, the most modern iteration of the TrueBeam technology platform.
"As a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, Markey is always seeking the newest and most effective treatment for all types of cancer," said Dr. Marc Randall, the Markey Cancer Foundation Chair in Radiation Medicine. "The Varian TrueBeam is an excellent example of this: leading-edge technology that provides faster, more accurate, and more comfortable treatment for our patients. This technology joins other advanced treatment options available for our patients at UK HealthCare, including Tomotherapy and Gamma Knife platforms, creating one of the most technically sophisticated departments anywhere."
In addition to its advanced technical capabilities, it has features for patient comfort, as well — the TrueBeam operates quietly and provides built-in music capabilities so that patients can relax by listening to music of their choice during treatments.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2014) — A new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researcher Peter Zhou shows that targeting Twist, a nuclear protein that is an accelerant of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program in human cells, may provide an effective approach for treating triple-negative breast cancer.
Triple-negative breast cancer has an activated EMT program, which is a process that provides cells with the increased plasticity (or flexibility) to adapt to stressed environments during embryonic development, wound healing, tissue fibrosis and metastasis. EMT provides tumor cells with stem cell-like characteristics, making them resistant to therapeutics and increasing their chances for early metastasis.
Triple-negative breast cancer in particular is associated with an aggressive clinical history, development of recurrence, distant metastasis and shorter patient survival, especially in younger women. It lacks effective targeted therapies and often displays early metastatic spread to brain and lung, sites known to be associated with an estimated 5-year survival of less than 20 percent.
Published in Cancer Cell, the study found that the nuclear protein Twist acts similarly to a virus protein. Using protein purification, Zhou's team identified that Twist interacted with a key nuclear transcription regulator BRD4. When many DNA viruses (such as papillomaviruses) enter into human “host” cells during infection, they hijack host cell machinery to replicate and synthesis their viral DNA and proteins. BRD4 is the virus's favored molecule and is often seized by DNA papillomaviruses for gene transcription during replication and growth.
Twist uses a similar strategy to recruit BRD4 to the genomic regions that are regulated by Twist. Many of these genomic regions contain oncogenes, such as those of survival proteins, growth factors and molecules that enhance cell migration and invasion. By recruiting BRD4 to these genomic regions, Twist accelerates cell growth and invasion by “waking up” the expression of these oncogenes.
Additionally, the study showed that two BRD4 inhibitors, JQ1 and MS417, can specifically disrupt the interaction of Twist with BRD4, resulting in the suppression of invasion, stem cell-like characters and tumorigenicity of triple-negative breast cancer cells.
"This finding has significant clinical ramification, because drugs that can target the Twist-BRD4 interaction provide a new hope for treating life-threatening triple-negative breast cancer," said Zhou, associate professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry at UK.
Jian Shi, a post-doctoral fellow at UK Markey Cancer Center, was the first author of this study, and other collaborators include UK Markey Cancer Center director Dr. Mark Evers and researchers Chi Wang and Haining Zhu. Previously, Zhou and his team have studied the role of the Snail complex — also known as the cellular "brake" in contrast to Twist's accelerant — in the EMT program.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 22, 2014) — A new study by University of Kentucky researchers shows that women who never or rarely screen for breast cancer are also unlikely to receive screening for cervical cancer. The study also identified four key barriers independently associated with the lack of these cancer screenings in Appalachian women.
Published in Women & Health, the study focused on six rural counties in Appalachian Kentucky. Researchers conducted in-person interviews with 222 women to assess their adherence (or lack thereof) to cancer screening guidelines. While 33 percent of the women had recently been screened for both breast and cervical cancers, 48 percent were rarely or had never been screened for both.
Through the interviews, the researchers determined four variables that were independently associated with significantly increased odds of never or rarely receiving screenings for breast and cervical cancer: a belief that a Pap test is embarrassing, a belief that the lack of health insurance makes it difficult to obtain a Pap test, a belief that breast cancer screening is unnecessary without symptoms, and reporting no physician recommendation of a mammogram in the prior 12 months.
These patterns of non-screening in Appalachian Kentucky are troubling. The overall cancer mortality rate in Appalachian Kentucky is 17 percent higher than the national rate. Of particular concern are the elevated incidence and mortality rates of invasive cervical cancer in this area, which are 67 percent and 33 percent higher than the national rate.
Additionally, the belief that a breast cancer screening is unnecessary without symptoms is problematic, because often by the time a woman experiences symptoms or has a lump, the cancer is in a more advanced stage. A mammogram performed every 1-2 years for women aged 40 years or older could reduce mortality rates by approximately 20-25 percent over a 10-year period.
“Our study findings reinforce the challenges to screening faced by many vulnerable and underserved women," said Nancy Schoenberg, lead author on the paper and professor of Behavioral Science at the UK College of Medicine. "Whether they experience inadequate knowledge, as shown in this research, or inadequate resources, as shown in other studies, many women find it difficult to obtain optimal preventive health care. Facilitating optimal prevention will reduce the huge toll cancer takes on women, their families and their communities.”
An anthropologist by training, Schoenberg is the principal investigator of a series of projects called "Faith Moves Mountains," including “An Appalachian Cervical Cancer Prevention Program,” “A CBPR Appalachian Wellness and Cancer Prevention Program,” and “An Intergenerational CBPR Intervention to Reduce Appalachian Health Disparities.” Started in 2004, these projects aim to target specific health behaviors through "faith-based" interventions, by building relationships with churches within Appalachian communities. This most recent study used a similar faith-based approach by working with local churches in Appalachia to recruit participants.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 15, 2014) — The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recently awarded UK HealthCare's Dr. Brian Rinker a "Best Paper" designation for his contribution to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The "Best Paper" awards are determined by by the number of views and downloads the articles receive. Rinker's article, "The Use of Dermal Autograft as an Adjunct to Breast Reconstruction with Tissue Expanders,” highlighted a new and safer way to reconstruct breast cancer patients following a mastectomy. As a surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction in UK's Division of Plastic Surgery, Rinker frequently collaborates with the UK Markey Cancer Center's surgical oncologists to provide a full spectrum of surgical care for mastectomy patients.
“The procedure introduced in the paper is a step forward in the care of breast cancer patients, as it produces an aesthetically pleasing reconstruction with a lower risk of infection and wound healing problems,” Rinker said. “UK is the only center in the region to offer the full range of breast reconstruction procedures, including microsurgical reconstruction, and this procedure is yet another option for our patients.”
The UK Markey Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Kentucky. NCI-designated cancer centers are a major source of discovery and development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2014) – A new study led by University of Kentucky researchers suggests that activating the tumor suppressor p53 in normal cells causes them to secrete Par-4, another potent tumor suppressor protein that induces cell death in cancer cells. This finding may help researchers decipher how to inhibit the growth of tumors that have become resistant to other treatments.
Loss of the tumor suppressor p53 often contributes to therapy resistance in tumors. In the study, published in Cell Reports, the University of Kentucky’s Vivek Rangnekar and his colleagues activated wild type p53 in normal cells to trigger cell death in the p53-deficient cancer cells. Because p53 is intact and functional in normal cells, the researchers harnessed its potential to inhibit the growth of p53-deficient cancer cells.
This paracrine effect was brought about by the tumor suppressor Par-4, which specifically kills cancer cells. Although other tumor suppressors exist, what makes Par-4 so special is that it is not mutated as frequently as other known suppressors, and it's "selective" in its actions in that Par-4 will only kill cancer cells and not normal cells. Importantly, it’s secretion from normal cells can be induced by activating p53 so that Par-4 enters circulation, thereby potentially targeting tumor cells at distant sites.
“As normal cells far outnumber the cancer cells in patients, we sought to empower the normal cells to trigger cell death in p53-deficient cancer cells," said Rangnekar, associate director of transdisciplinary collaborations for the UK Markey Cancer Center. "Our findings have potential for targeting local, as well as metastatic tumors, and future studies will use FDA-approved drugs to induce Par-4 secretion.”
The UK Markey Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Kentucky. NCI-designated cancer centers are a major source of discovery and development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Rangnekar, a professor in the department of radiation medicine, also holds the Alfred Cohen Endowed Chair in Oncology Research.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2013) -- When Michael Marler, 58, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, his work became his therapy. A lifelong painter and carver, Marler, a UK HealthCare patient who has received care at Markey Cancer Center and the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, used art therapy as his "go-to" method of coping as his disease progressed.
Now a hospice patient, Marler will see his life's dream of a solo exhibit come to fruition thanks to the efforts of Hospice of the Bluegrass and the Junior League of Lexington. "Up in Arms: the Art of Michael Marler" will take place 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Bodley Bullock House in Gratz Park. In accordance with Marler's wishes, proceeds from any works sold that day will be donated to Hospice of the Bluegrass.
The exhibit will showcase Marler's work from 2011 to present, which chronicle his ability to adapt to the progress of his disease through the use of vivid colors and changing textures, according to Anne Deck, WUKY employee and arts chair for the Junior League.
"The title for the exhibit was chosen to reflect Michael's contagious, uplifting spirit and unwavering faith," says Deck. "It is truly a special person who can go beyond their illness and share, through art, their deeply personal moments from their Hospice journey."
In addition to works for sale, visitors can fill a guest registry with messages of support and encouragement for Michael and his family.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2013) — Dr. Mark Evers, director of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, professor and vice-chair for research in the Department of Surgery and Markey Cancer Foundation Endowed Chair, has been elected the new president of the Southern Surgical Association.
One of the nation’s leading medical groups, the association is dedicated to furthering the study and practice of surgery, especially in the Southern states. Previously, Evers served as secretary for the association.
"I'm proud to simply be a part of this prestigious organization, and it's truly an honor to serve its members as President over the next year," Evers said.
Evers is an internationally recognized clinician-scientist, surgeon, educator and administrator. Under his leadership, the UK Markey Cancer Center achieved National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation earlier this year, becoming only the 68th medical center in the country to receive NCI designation and the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kentucky.
His laboratory research has been continuously funded for more than 20 years from the National Institutes of Health. As a surgeon, his primary interests are in colorectal and endocrine surgery. His research interests are predominately focused on signaling mechanisms for proliferation of colorectal cancers and in hormonal control of cancer growth.
Evers has been recognized for his research achievements including election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and leadership positions in various national societies including the Society for Surgical Oncology, American College of Surgeons, the American Gastroenterological Association and the Society of University Surgeons of which he is a past president.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 6, 2013) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center will host a special photo exhibit and reception honoring Kentucky lung cancer survivors this Monday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in the atrium of the cancer center's Combs Research Building.
The exhibit, "Faces of Lung Cancer," was coordinated by the Kentucky Cancer Program to spread awareness about lung cancer and prevention. Photos of each of the nine survivors will be prominently displayed along with a brief personal statement. In addition to the two survivors who are attending, featured speakers include UK Markey Cancer Center Director Dr. Mark Evers, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Timothy Mullett, oncologist Dr. Susanne Arnold, Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy Director Ellen Hahn, and Kentucky Cancer Registry Director Tom Tucker.
Exhibit participant Juanita Meade, who has been cancer-free for more than two years, says she hopes the exhibit helps raise awareness for the cause and provides inspiration for those who may be going through a similar situation.
"I hope the message people take away is that we need more support, we need more research," Meade said. "And you have to be strong, you have to have faith. I thought, 'I am on the ride of my life, and I'm going to hang on.'"
Kentucky leads the nation in both new incidences of lung cancer and deaths from the disease. Though tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for developing lung cancer, anyone can develop the disease regardless of his or her smoking status. Lung cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer, and it is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the U.S.
As the state's only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, Markey's mission is to ensure that all Kentuckians can receive the best possible cancer care closest to home, and to make an impact on the cancers that are affecting our state the most -- like lung cancer.
"We've taken extraordinary steps in recent years to help combat cancer incidence and mortality, and I'm proud to say that Markey patients with lung cancers show higher five-year survival rates than patients treated at other cancer centers nationwide," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "However, we are always working reduce this burden on our state — and events like 'Faces of Lung Cancer' are another way for us to educate the community about this often-fatal disease."
"Faces of Lung Cancer" will remain on display at UK in the Combs Building atrium for one week. The exhibit will travel across the state and be displayed in various communities over the next 12 months. Local exhibits, including educational materials and speakers, will be coordinated by KCP regional staff in collaboration with district cancer councils and other community groups.
KCP is a state-funded cancer control program jointly administered by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. It includes 14 regional offices across the state. KCP at UK serves Central and Eastern Kentucky.
All photos in "Faces of Lung Cancer" were taken by Richmond photographer Tim Webb, who donated his time. For more information about scheduling the exhibit in your community, contact your local KCP office. For contact information, go to www.kcp.uky.edu and click on "Regional Offices."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2013) -- The season of thankfulness and giving is upon us and students and faculty from George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Ky., are among those stepping up to help others.
Last week, students from the school delivered gift boxes to the UK Markey Cancer Center to spread holiday cheer. The boxes each contained candy and painted eggs that were hollowed out -- when cracked open, the eggs contained an inspirational quote for the patient.
The school group that was responsible for putting these gift boxes together was iTime, a new program to GRC this year. iTime is an academic-free activity chosen by students at the beginning of the year. This specific program was called Community Service iTime.
A group of around 10 iTime students volunteered in the creation of the gift boxes, with the supervision and help from school faculty and the high school's principal. Participating students were sophomores and freshmen.
Makayla Arnett, a sophomore at GRC and the student in charge of organizing the school group's donation, has a special place in her heart for those battling with cancer, which inspired her to suggest Markey as the recipient of the group's efforts.
"Throughout my life, cancer has been present in multiple family members and friends," Arnett said. "My uncle, being the closest, was like my second dad. When he was diagnosed, they sent him to Markey, and throughout those three years, Markey was a huge part of our lives."
Dr. Mark Evers: what the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation says about Markey's quality of care »
Markey patient named LLS "Man of the Year" »
Homemade "survival bracelets" honor late UK coach, raise money for cancer research »
866-340-4488 (toll free)
connected with Markey. Become a fan of Markey's Facebook. Stay up-to-date on
community events, programs, treatments, research, new physicians and more.
© University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA | An Equal Opportunity University