Tahoe Forest cancer center awarded for excellence in care | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Forest cancer center awarded for excellence in care

Dr. Laurence Heifetz, at the July 2012 Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center naming ceremony.
File photo |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation on Wednesday recognized the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center in Truckee as a “Community Hospital Center of Excellence.”

The ALCF Centers of Excellence award recognizes community hospitals for individualized care and treatment of lung cancer patients,” according to a news release.

“It’s critical to raise the bar on the standard of care for lung cancer patients,” Bonnie J. Addario, a stage 3B survivor and founder of the ALCF, said in a statement. “Right now 80 percent of all cancer patients are treated at a community hospital, which is why we have implemented our multi-disciplinary, patient-centric Centers of Excellence Program to increase patient survival rates.”

Since it opened in 2012, the Tahoe Forest Cancer Center has been implementing the standard of care required in the ALCF’s Centers of Excellence Program.

The program’s hallmark standard ensures all patients receive genomic testing to monitor for specific disease states and determine potential targeted therapy options, according to the news release.

Additional standards include an individualized approach to care, patient access to new diagnostic tools and therapeutic techniques, and an emphasis on early detection and patient follow-up.

“Our goal is to improve lung patient outcomes and increase overall survival rates by focusing on early detection and treatment options,” Dr. Laurence Heifetz, the center’s medical director, said in a statement.

While the understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer has improved, and centers like the one in Truckee have helped patients, there is additional work to be done — in 2015 alone, there will be more than 221,200 new cases of lung cancer in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society estimates more than 158,000 Americans will die of the disease.

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating lung cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment.

It was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) nonprofit and has raised more than $20 million for lung cancer research and related programs. Visit ungcancerfoundation.org to learn more.

For information on the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, visit tahoecancercenter.com.

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