UK Markey Cancer Center in the News

Published 09-06-2011 3:08 PM | Mark D. Birdwhistell  


Markey Announces High Survival Rates for Many Cancers

Dr. Mark Evers, director of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center along with two Markey cancer survivors,  delivered some exciting news last week regarding patients at UK Markey Cancer Center. In a press conference featuring Drs. John van Nagell and Ronald McGarry, Dr. Evers announced that cancer survival rates at Markey are higher than those of patients treated elsewhere across the country.  

Markey researchers gathered survival rate data for their patients and compared it to the Kentucky Cancer Registry and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program. The research concluded that Markey patients have significantly higher five-year survival rates compared to other Kentucky patients treated outside of Markey. The eight particular cancers that were studied included brain, breast, liver, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and Stage IV colorectal cancer.

The most moving part of the press conference was the story told by two Markey cancer survivors. Kentuckians Roger Samples and Suzi Shoemaker braved the rain and wind to share their experience regarding the care they received at the Markey Cancer Center. The two patients had nothing but good things to say about the interprofessional teams while receiving care and stressed that the outstanding reputation of the Markey Cancer Center is spreading not only throughout the state, but also the region. Both survivors were also quick to mention that the team of physicians made it a point to sit down with them for at least 45 minutes to explain their diagnosis and the associated treatment plan in detail.

Mr. Samples and Ms. Shoemaker truly gave a unique perspective of those dealing with such a terrible reality, but also expressed hope for future patients that the people at Markey Cancer Center are getting it right!

For more information regarding the survival rates, go to 

And also, Suzi Shoemaker provides a great op-ed at 


First Lady Jane Beshear, UK’s Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto, and State Legislators Team Up to Encourage Ovarian Cancer Screening

UK’s Markey Cancer Center continued to steal the spotlight last week as Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear, UK’s Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto, and a gathering of Kentucky’s female legislators celebrated the success of the ovarian cancer screening program.

To appreciate the impact of the program, it is important to note that ovarian cancer is the fifth deadliest cancer nationwide and the leading gynecological cancer. The Markey Cancer Ovarian Cancer Screening Program was started by Dr. John R. van Nagell, Jr. in 1987. The program’s goal was to provide free ovarian cancer screening to the women of the Commonwealth.

The screening has been provided to more than 37,000 women and has reached out to women in every county in the state. Markey Cancer Center is only one of the 6 centers that are providing screening in Kentucky. Satellite locations include Elizabethtown, Somerset, Prestonsburg, Maysville, and Paducah. 

Quite possibly the biggest supporter of the program is my long time colleague Representative Jimmie Lee. He finished the press conference by giving us his own personal connection to ovarian cancer. A teary-eyed Rep. Lee shared with the audience that his wife had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and because of Dr. van Nagell’s early screening process, his wife is still alive today. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room! This was a wonderful event.  After both of these events, I felt so fortunate to be a part the UK HealthCare team - That's why I am here!!!

For more information regarding the press conference, go to For more information regarding the survival rates, go to 


Pictured Above:  Dr. John R. van Nagell, Jr., First Lady Jane Beshear, Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto, Rep. Jimmie Lee, and Kentucky female legislators



Dr. John R. van Nagell, Jr.


First Lady Jane Beshear


Representative Jimmie Lee


First Lady Jane Beshear and Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto

Page last updated: 1/30/2015 12:00:34 PM