The best local cancer care
At Frankfort Regional Medical Center, our oncologists provide the greater Frankfort, Kentucky area with the most advanced technology and treatment options.
To book an appointment, call (502) 223-7629.
Requests or referrals can be made by patients, family members, friends or a healthcare provider. For more information, please call (502) 227-3131.
Frankfort Regional Medical Center has a stamp of approval from the nation’s leading authority on cancer care, the Commission on Cancer (CoC).
CoC Approval is received by only one in four hospitals that treat cancer patients and is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in diagnosis and treatment of cancer. When it comes to cancer care, it all comes together here. Find out more about the different types of cancer we treat at Frankfort Regional.
Types of cancer we treat
Although colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancer types in men and women, it is the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. each year. One in 20 people are at risk of developing colon cancer, according to the Colon Cancer Alliance.
Common symptoms include abdominal discomfort and a change in bowel habits such as diarrhea and anal bleeding.
Regular screening colonoscopies can detect these cancers early, resulting in more effective treatment and improved survival rates, especially for people over 50. If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, getting screened before you turn 50 may be recommended.
Frankfort Regional Medical Center provides a full range of gastrointestinal services, tests and imaging options related to diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for colorectal cancer. We perform colorectal procedures, including colonoscopy to prevent cancer by removing polyps and to address related conditions.
If surgery is needed, our surgeons use the latest minimally invasive technology and procedures, including laparoscopy, to remove colorectal cancers and reconnect intestinal tissue, which means you experience less post–procedure pain and have a faster recovery. If lymph nodes are involved, chemotherapy may also be an option for follow–up care.
Some lifestyle factors have been linked to colorectal cancer. These factors include:
- Diet: those who frequently eat red and processed meats may have a higher chance of developing colorectal cancer. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains have been linked to a lower risk for developing colorectal cancer.
- Weight: those who are overweight and physically inactive may have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer
- Smoking: those who have a long history of smoking have a higher chance of developing colorectal cancer
- Alcohol: those that are consume a considerable amount of alcohol have a higher risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer
Stay alert to symptoms of colorectal cancer and speak with your doctor if you have any concerns. Common symptoms include:
- A change in bowel habits
- Blood in the stool (bright red, black or tar-like)
- Narrower than normal stools
- Diarrhea, constipation or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Abdominal discomfort (gas pains, bloating, fullness, cramps)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Constant feeling of fatigue
Surgery is the most common type of treatment for colorectal cancer for stages 0 through III and stage IV if the tumor is obstructive or blocking the bowel.
Types of surgery include:
- Polypectomy and local excision
- Partial colectomy
- Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy
- Total colectomy
In addition to knowing the common risk factors and symptoms, you should also be aware of colorectal cancer screenings if you think you may be at a high risk for developing this cancer. You may be at a higher risk if you have a personal or family history of colon or rectal cancer, or if you are African-American or Native American.
Always speak with your primary care doctor with any concerns you have.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women. It claims more lives than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Early detection can lead to better outcomes, but most lung cancer is undetected until symptoms occur. Symptoms such as persistent cough, shortness of breath, bloody mucous and unexplained weight loss can occur as the cancer progresses.
Tobacco smoking remains the primary cause of lung cancer, although anyone, including non-smokers, can contract the disease from some combination of genetics, radon or asbestos exposure, air pollution or secondhand smoke. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation or a combination of options. The number one prevention for lung cancer is to quit smoking, or never start.
Why is lung cancer screening so important?
Early detection remains the key to better outcomes. A person may not be symptomatic but can be considered at high-risk for developing lung cancer. To assess your risk for lung or thoracic cancer, take advantage of screenings offered at Frankfort Regional Medical Center. The lung cancer screening includes a low-radiation-dose CT scan and, if indicated, an appointment with one of our lung or thoracic specialists. You'll benefit from some of the most advanced screening practices in Central Kentucky, including:
- Multiple early and accurate screening options for those at risk of lung cancer
- Prompt diagnosis and effective treatment that improves outcomes
- Advanced lung and thoracic surgery by our experienced surgeons
Lung cancer screening is recommended for individuals who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Between the ages 55-77
- Current smoker or former smoker that quit within 15 years
- 30 or more “pack year”* history of smoking
* A pack year is a way to measure the amount of smoking an individual has done over a period of time. A 30 pack years history of smoking is equivalent to smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 year. You can calculate the number of cigarettes you’ve consumed via the American Cancer Society’s cigarette calculator.
The earlier a cancer diagnosis is made, the better the chances are for treating it. Frankfort Regional Medical Center uses the most advanced technologies and techniques including:
- Digital mammography
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Fiber optics
- Radioactive isotope techniques
- Stereotactic breast biopsy
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Position emission tomography (PET)
- Sentinel node biopsy
- Minimally invasive surgical biopsy
- Bone densitometry
A patient's family physician is involved throughout the diagnosis and treatment process.
Our treatment options
In addition to the newest minimally invasive procedures and access to innovative, research-based approaches, Frankfort Regional offer patients the benefits of all major treatment methods for cancer care, including: surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology.
Specialized, innovative medical services are available to individuals with symptoms caused by cancer and its treatment. Symptom treatments are aimed at enhancing a person's ability to carry out a normal lifestyle. Treatment methods include pain management therapy (with pharmacology and non-pharmacology intervention), electrical stimulation, treatment for lymphedema and access to rehabilitation services. Through our partnership with local hospice programs we offer our patients access to palliative (comfort) care and hospice care.
Surgery is the primary treatment for many types of cancer, especially if the disease is localized to one area of the body. Surgery also can confirm a diagnosis, determine how far a person's cancer has advanced, relieve side effects or ease pain.
Thanks to new and more sophisticated techniques, surgeons are often able to achieve remarkable results. Our inpatient and outpatient surgical suites are equipped for video, computer-guided or microscopic procedures as well as laser and traditional surgeries.
Medical oncology is another important treatment specialty that uses powerful cancer fighting drugs, hormones and immuno-stimulants to help the body stop or slow the growth of malignant cells. Chemotherapy is a therapeutic method that uses drugs to interfere with the cancer's ability to reproduce and grow.
Frankfort Regional Medical Center uses the radiation oncology services of a board-eligible radiation oncologist that lead a team of highly qualified professionals, including certified medical physicists, certified medical dosimetrists, certified radiation therapists and oncology nurses. Radiation oncology services offer state-of-the-art treatments such as:
- Conventional external beam radiation therapy
- Conformal, 3-D treatment planning
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
Our cancer care team
As cancer care becomes more specialized, patients and their families work with a team throughout the treatment process. Each team brings together professionals with experience and expertise in a range of disciplines - medicine, nursing, social work, psychology, pastoral counseling, pharmacology, nutrition and rehabilitation. The oncology nursing staff is made up of highly skilled and trained nurses whose specialized nursing skills, along with a genuine concern for each patient, translate into superior care.
The team's collaboration strengthens the individual treatment plan, encourages patient involvement and ensures a continuous flow of communication. This underlying spirit of cooperation fosters a climate of trust and concern that is conducive to healing.
Oncology nurse navigators
Frankfort Regional Medical Center has a new oncology nurse navigator program. Oncology nurse navigators are patient educators and advocates, care coordinators, guides and community ambassadors on a mission to improve the cancer experience for each patient. The navigator provides a support system for the patient and his/her family at a critical time, after diagnosis and throughout treatment.
When navigators get involved early after a person has received a cancer diagnosis, they can help steer patients and their families to appropriate care and treatment that could dramatically improve their chances of getting the best care.
Preventive skin cancer advice
Wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer, especially if you’re headed out for a long day in the sun. But with all the different kinds available, it can be hard to know what type of sunscreen to buy.
What’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays?
Both UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays damage the skin and cause skin cancer. UVA rays are the chief cause of wrinkles, sagging and other signs of aging. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn.
What does SPF stand for, and how is that number determined?
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin. For example, if it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red. Using an SPF 30 sunscreen should prevent reddening/sunburn 30 times longer.
What is broad-spectrum sunscreen?
Broad spectrum means the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen for maximum protection.
Does a higher SPF provide better protection? What number should I use?
SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays, SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent and SPF 50 blocks 98 percent. Sunscreen with an SPF above 50 provides very minimal increased protection, so it’s advised that most people use SPF 30 or greater when leaving the house.
How does sunscreen actually protect my skin from sun exposure?
Sunscreens combine several ingredients that help prevent the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays as they hit your skin, and physical sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide deflect, or block, the UV rays from the skin.
Is one type of sunscreen safer or better than the other?
Physical blockers are recommended for those who are allergic to chemic sunscreens. Since all sunscreen products are safe and effective when used correctly, either type of sunscreen gets the job done.
How much sunscreen should I use?
The average adult needs to apply one ounce to their skin 30 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreens lose effectiveness over time, so it’s important to reapply the same amount every two hours, and during activities that may cause it to wipe off, such as swimming, toweling off and heavy sweating. During a long day outdoors, one person should use about one half to one quarter of an eight-ounce bottle.
Do cosmetics that provide SPF protection offer enough protection or should regular sunscreen be worn as well?
Many after-shave lotions, moisturizers and make-up products have a sunscreen already in them, and if the SPF is 15 or greater, this is sufficient for everyday activities with a few minutes here and there in the sun. However, if you work outside, or spend a lot of time outdoors, you need a water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater.
Do waterproof sunscreens really work?
The terms “water-resistant” and “sweat-resistant” indicate whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes, when you’re swimming or sweating. Sunscreens that have a water resistance rating of 80 might say they are “very water-resistant,” but since no sunscreen is fully “waterproof” or “sweat proof,” the FDA prohibits these terms.