ACTION Photo Exhibit

Kentucky has the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States; no other state in the country has a worse cancer problem than does Kentucky. There are over 30,000 new cases and 10,000 deaths each year in the state. What is worse is that cancer rates are greatest in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. The high cancer rates are caused by elevated cancer risk factors and other issues including fewer health care facilities in the region.

The Appalachian Career Training in Oncology (ACTION) Program at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center prepares high school and undergraduate students from Appalachian Kentucky to address the cancer problems in their communities now and in the future. By sharing cancer education information, ACTION students can increase community members’ cancer knowledge which can aid in reducing cancer rates in the area.

As a way to share cancer education, ACTION participants have been taking photographs in their communities that remind them of the causes and consequences of cancer. We share these images with you in our “Cancer In Appalachia” exhibit.

We thank our sponsors including the National Cancer Institute that funds the ACTION Program, University of Kentucky (UK) Markey Cancer Center, UK HealthCare, CREATE and UK Arts in Health Care.






“We hope that viewers will consider the significant cancer problem in Kentucky and its causes and consequences through this work.”
- Nathan Vanderford, PhD, ACTION Program Director
“Through these images, our ACTION students are sharing cancer education, raising awareness and building community that stretches far beyond the Appalachian region of Kentucky.”
- Jason Akhtarekhavari, UK Arts in Healthcare Manager
“We hope that some people will think about their own cancer risk factors and how to modify behaviors that can reduce their cancer risk.”
- Nathan Vanderford, PhD, ACTION Program Director
“I’ve learned a lot about how cancer has affected Appalachia. By being in ACTION, I can go back to my hometown to spread information about how to prevent habits that lead to cancer and help the people in my community.”
- Camari Parker, Elliott County, ACTION Program Participant
NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 57 in the nation.