Being diagnosed with is a scary experience, but Suzi Shoemaker of Midway says a screening program at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center saved her life. In 2006 doctors discovered she had ovarian cancer. "I had the advantage of a team of people who could find out what was wrong and give me the best possible chance for survival at that initial point."
Doctors and administrators at Markey say screening programs are a major reason why their cancer survival rates are higher than many other facilities in Kentucky and across the country.
Markey touted its cancer survival rates Tuesday in a release of data collected from 1998-2007. Center director Dr. Mark Evers says that information was then compared to the Kentucky Cancer Registry and data from the National Cancer Institute.
"It really took us about six months to continue to look at the data because I asked our statisticians to go over this a number of different times to make sure we were comparing apples to apples, which I think is important."
According to Markey's findings, their liver cancer patients had a five-year survival rate of 23-percent, compared to just 7 percent at other Kentucky medical centers and 11 percent nationwide. Survival rates were also higher among patients with brain, lung, ovarian, and prostate cancer.