- based on 2012 data -
Approved by the Oncology Committee January 28, 2014

This has been another encouraging year for our cancer program at TriStar Horizon Medical Center (THMC). Several goals for 2013 were accomplished, and studies confirmed that the quality of care provided at THMC met and exceeded national guidelines. First, in response to national trends in cancer data collection, Dr. Eldred Wiser, general surgeon, encouraged the surgeons to document pre-surgical cancer staging more frequently. At the end of 2013, 100% of cases treated at THMC included appropriate pre-surgical staging. Second, Crystal English, CTR, and I investigated whether the workup of colon cancer was concordant with NCCN guidelines. Overall, diagnostic evaluation met criteria or accommodated individual case needs. The committee did encourage wider use of chest imaging, to rule out metastatic disease. Surgical treatment was appropriately recommended in all cases. Third, the Committee reviewed the frequency of complications from lung biopsy procedures performed at THMC in 2012. The frequency was well within the national range found in the medical literature. Finally, we analyzed the frequency that at least 12 regional lymph nodes were examined after colon cancer resections. This number ensures adequate detection of spreading disease. THMC’s pathologist, Dr. Venk Mani, met this goal for 100% of resections, an impressive accomplishment.

The outreach goal to inform the community of lung cancer risks and the availability of screening for early detection of breast cancers was achieved with targeted mailings that helped to educate people at high risk in our community, mammogram reminder cards, and distribution of “Are You at Risk?” cards at industry wellness and community events. Connect, the THMC wellness publication, was also a useful tool to share information about breast cancer screening recommendations, BRCA testing, and the risks of smoking with thousands of households in our community.

Professional education on campus featured the NCCN Congress Series webinar titled “Surgical Issues in “Small Cell Lung Cancer”, in April of 2013 and twelve physicians, nurses and allied health professionals attended.

Several quality improvements were implemented in 2013. These included ACR accreditation of Breast Ultrasound Imaging, introduction of new videos to familiarize patients with processes in radiation therapy, and an upgraded imaging information system that streamlines procedures and decreases patient wait times.

Thanks to everyone on the Cancer Committee as well as the volunteers for their overwhelming support of our cancer patients and we look forward to another exciting year.

A. Craig Collie, MD
THMC Oncology Committee Chair