A recent study of early stage cancer diagnoses at The Westerly Hospital compared to national data showed that the percent of patients diagnosed early at the Hospital not only compared favorably with national benchmarks, but in many cases exceeded national averages.
The examination was conducted by the Hospital’s multi-disciplinary Cancer Committee as part of ongoing measures to ensure quality cancer care at The Westerly Hospital.
In the recent study, seven frequent cancers were examined. In four out of the seven cancers — breast, bladder, colon, and prostate — the percent of patients whose cancer was diagnosed at 0-2 stages at The Westerly Hospital exceeded national averages of early stage diagnosis. Cancer stages describe the severity of the cancer and help determine treatment and prognosis. Cancers detected at stages 0-2 are considered early stage. In general, the lower the stage when a cancer is detected, the better the outcomes. Early diagnoses of melanoma and thyroid cancer at The Westerly Hospital were on par with national benchmarks. Only lung cancer early diagnoses lagged slightly behind national averages (of note, only slightly more than one-quarter of lung cancers nationally are detected at early stages).
The Westerly Hospital Cancer Committee is chaired by Robert Legare, MD, a Westerly Hospital oncologist and Medical Director of the Cancer Risk Assessment and Prevention Program at Women and Infants Hospital.
Said Dr. Legare, “These findings speak to efforts by local physicians in recognizing the signs and symptoms of early cancer and recommending appropriate screenings to their patients.”
The Westerly Hospital offers excellent and comprehensive cancer care services and in 2011 was awarded a “Three-Year with Commendation” approval for its cancer program by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Cancer services at The Westerly Hospital include a full range of diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical, and rehabilitative care. The Hospital also hosts a breast cancer board and a cancer tumor board made up of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and pathologists who review diagnoses and treatment of each patient with breast or other cancers.