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Cancer Program Report

A cancer diagnosis is a frightening experience & while it may be your first instinct to turn to a larger city for such specialized care, did you know many of the same forms of cancer treatment are available a little closer to home? Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) provides oncology (cancer) services delivered with kindness & compassion. As an affiliate of the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network, Harlan ARH is your local option for cancer care.

To ensure we provide high-quality cancer care, Harlan ARH has an active oncology program that consists of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. They work toward increasing the quality of services that are provided to Harlan County & the surrounding areas. Annually, a physician member of the oncology program will perform a study to ensure that the treatments that are being performed are in compliance with national treatment guidelines.

This year, Dr. Kamlesh Sajnani, was chosen to perform this study. Dr. Sajnani is board certified in Internal Medicine & Oncology & specializes is in various types of cancer cases. His residency in Internal Medicine & his fellowship in Oncology were at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are two main types of lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which makes up about 80% to 85% of lung cancers & Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC), which accounts for about 10% to 15% of lung cancers. Due to the fact that this cancer is the less common of the two, not frequently seen at Harlan ARH, so not typically discussed during our cancer conferences, SCLC was chosen as the topic of the study. Small Cell Lung Cancer in Kentucky vs. Harlan County Based on data from the Kentucky Cancer Registry, in 2016, there were 775 people diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer in Kentucky. As of November 2018, there have been 698 cases recorded for 2017. In 2017, Harlan ARH had 125 patients diagnosed with some type of cancer, with only 3 of those patients diagnosed and treated for Small Cell Lung Cancer (2.4%). All three SCLC cases were extensive stage (Stage 4) and were not curable, but treatable.

Dr. Sajnani reviewed the treatments that were provided to those three patients & compared it to the national guidelines from The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). This organization promotes continuous quality improvement & recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians & other health care decision-makers around the world.

The results of the study showed that all three (100%) patients received treatment & care according to the NCCN national guidelines including having had efficient diagnostic and pre-chemotherapy workup. By doing this study, it ensures that Harlan ARH is providing quality cancer care that is comparable to other cancer centers nationwide at a convenience of being close to home.