Tag Archives: Cancer services

Thinking Positive Beats Cancer

Henry Vehorn may be one of the most positive people on the planet.

“It became a joy to go to chemotherapy,” the 73-year-old Lexington County man said. “I never felt like it was a bad situation.”

Henry’s journey with cancer began in 2013. He was laying sod during a sweltering South Carolina summer. So he didn’t think much of it when his wife said she thought he was losing a lot of weight. When his weight loss continued after the landscaping project ended, Henry decided it was time to see a doctor.

“I went 70 years without as much as a headache,” Henry said.

Lexington Medical Center doctors diagnosed Henry with aggressive stomach cancer. Within weeks, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor and part of his stomach. His chemotherapy and radiation treatments started the day after Christmas.

Henry Vehorn and Dr. Quillin Davis at Lexington Radiation Oncology

Henry Vehorn and Dr. Quillin Davis at Lexington Radiation Oncology

That’s when he met Quillin Davis, MD, a radiation oncologist and medical director of cancer services at Lexington Medical Cancer Center.

“The radiation and chemotherapy for stomach cancer is tough,” Dr. Davis said. “But Henry just couldn’t have been any nicer or more grateful throughout his treatment.”

Henry’s health troubles continued. Months after his initial diagnosis, a scan revealed the stomach cancer had spread to Henry’s liver. He underwent a second round of chemotherapy and radiation.

This time, Dr. Davis blasted the lesion in Henry’s liver using stereotactic radiosurgery inside Lexington Radiation Oncology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. The procedure uses high doses of radiation with pinpoint precision to destroy a tumor without damaging tissue around it.

Henry’s liver responded; the lesion disappeared.

”Henry is a walking miracle!” Dr. Davis said. “At this point, he’s a long-term survivor of stage IV gastric cancer which is exceedingly, exceedingly rare.”

Henry has been such a memorable patient that Dr. Davis keeps a framed picture of the two of them together.

“The picture means more to me than any of my diplomas, certificates or awards,” Dr. Davis said. “It’s on my bookshelf in my house — the picture of me and Henry.”

Henry believes Dr. Davis served up gold-star treatment.

“I know he was always looking out for me behind the scenes,” Henry said. “He feels like family.”

Dr. Davis says his team is acutely aware that they are helping patients in what can be the most difficult fight of their lives.

“We are all there with them. We have an emotional connection with our patients,” Dr. Davis said. “We are all there backing them up and doing our best. We really do feel that cancer is our fight, too,” Dr. Davis said.

With new technology, focused treatment and a better understanding of cancer in general, Dr. Davis says more people are surviving cancer than ever before.

“My hope is that every single person we see is someone who is going to beat the odds.”

Just like Henry has.


Rock Out for Pink Out

Thank you to Chapin’s Spring Hill High School students who raised more than $4,000 on Friday for the Lexington Medical Center Foundation’s breast cancer programs by selling t-shirts and collecting donations in their “Rock Out for Pink Out” fundraiser.

We were pleased to have Dr. Samantha Morton of Carolina Women’s Physicians and Barbara Willm of the Foundation there today to express our gratitude. Way to go!

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The Lexington Medical Center Foundation provides many services for women with breast cancer including providing wigs, prosthetics and mastectomy bras as well as wellness workouts, medication and financial assistance. By providing a variety of programs, patients can focus on healing. Visit LMCFoundation.com

FREE Skin Cancer Screening June 27th

It’s the time of year when we’re spending a lot of time outdoors and in the sun. While the sun can be fun, it can also damage your skin and make you more vulnerable to developing skin cancer. In fact, the Southeastern region of the United States has some of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the nation. That’s why Lexington Medical Center is teaming up with Palmetto Dermatology to offer a FREE skin cancer screening on Friday, June 27, 2014.

The free skin cancer screening will take place from 9:00 a.m. – Noon on Friday, June 27 at 109 West Hospital Drive in West Columbia. That’s the Lexington Sleep Solutions building. To make an appointment, call Lexington Medical Center Community Outreach at (803) 936 – 8850 Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Capacity is limited. An appointment is necessary.

sunscreen“Lexington Medical Center and Palmetto Dermatology are joining together to provide this important service to our community with the hopes that we can reduce the rate of melanoma in Lexington County,” said Connie Watson, Lexington Medical Center Community Outreach Director.

Upon arriving at the appointment, patients will fill out a questionnaire related to family and medical history. Then, they’ll receive a full body skin cancer screening from a doctor or physician assistant that looks for any suspicious moles or nodules on the skin. If the clinician finds something that appears suspicious, they will refer the patient to a doctor’s office for further inspection. Participants will also receive educational information about skin cancer.

Studies show that in 2013, more than 75,000 Americans were diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. More than 9,000 patients died. Approximately 86% of melanomas are attributed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Information from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that about 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer in his or her lifetime. And doctors at Lexington Medical Center have reported seeing an increase in skin cancer among young adults in their 20’s.

According to Dr. Jeff Smith of Palmetto Dermatology, melanoma can be a very dangerous disease. Although it only makes up 3% of skin cancers, it is responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths. Other than breast cancer, it is the most common form of cancer for women under 40.

“Sun protection, prompt detection and aggressive management are keys to treating melanoma,” said Dr. Smith “It can also be difficult to see. Some melanomas start with something as small as a spot between your toes.”

Doctors emphasize the importance of monthly self skin exams and yearly dermatology checkups in an effort to achieve early detection. Moles with the following characteristics should prompt concern:

~Asymmetrical borders
~Dark colors or multi-colored
~Diameter larger than a pencil eraser

Once a diagnosis is made, doctors perform prompt and appropriate surgical intervention.
To avoid skin cancer, experts recommend that patients:
~Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 year-round when outside to avoid sunburn.
~Avoid tanning beds.
~Seek shade. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.