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UK Cancer Center Wins Renewal Of 'Gold Standard' Designation

Allison Perry

The American Cancer Society ranks Kentucky as the worst in the nation when it comes to both cancer incidence and mortality rates, but the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center has earned its own designation in the fight to combat the diseases.

UK announced the center received the coveted National Cancer Institute label for the second time, ensuring its place among the leading cancer care and research centers in the U.S.

"It's really the gold standard of what cancer centers should be," says the man at the helm of Markey, Dr. Mark Evers. "It really puts you in the top five percent of all cancer centers in the country.

The center watched its research funding jump by nearly a quarter since it first won the NCI designation in 2013. Evers tells WUKY he’s more optimistic today about the progress on treatment than he’s been years, citing a dip in the death rates for colorectal cancer.

"We're number five in the country, which certainly is still high but to make that drop after being number one for so many years gives me great hope that we're making progress,"

Roughly 26,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Kentucky every year. The American Cancer Society estimates about 42 percent of cancer cases are linked to modifiable risk factors.

Evers’ goal is to halve the number of cancer deaths in state over the next decade.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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