Cancer Program

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, Highlands Regional Medical Center is prepared to help with a Cancer Program designed with you in mind.

Program Information

We understand that our patients need quality cancer care, close to home. As part of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network, Highlands Health System can provide the most advanced therapies, cancer treatments and technology to our patients. Our affiliation also allows us access to the latest clinical trials, cutting-edge research and the newest treatment options at the UK Markey Cancer Center in Lexington, Kentucky.
As a Commission on Cancer (CoC) accredited program since 1991, Highlands Regional Medical Center (HRMC) strives at providing the best possible care to those faced with a diagnosis of cancer. The CoC is an organization that is dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care since 1913. The multidisciplinary Commission on Cancer:
  • Establishes standards to ensure quality, multidisciplinary and comprehensive cancer care delivery in health care settings.
  • Conducts surveys to assess compliance with those standards.
  • Collects high quality data from CoC-accredited health care settings & uses the data to measure cancer care quality and to monitor treatment patterns and outcomes.
  • Develops effective educational interventions to improve cancer preventions, early detection, care delivery and utcomes in health care settings.
  • This accreditation ensures that HRMC offers patients many screening, diagnostic and treatment options. Our healthcare professionals will work together to ensure you receive top quality medical care.
As a commission on cancer accredited program, Highlands offers a number of treatment options. When you are facing a cancer diagnosis, finding the right care can feel overwhelming. That’s why we provide a nurse navigator. The nurse navigator works with you and your doctor to help develop the best care plan for you, both in and out of the hospital.

Clinical Trials

Cancer-related clinical trials are available to you as a cancer patient.

Clinical Trials Details

Clinical trials are vital in studying all aspects of medicine, not just cancer. All new treatments (drugs and medical devices) must go through clinical trials before being approved by the FDA. Clinical trials are only a small part of the research that goes into developing a new treatment. Drugs of the future, for example, first have to be discovered or created, purified, described and tested in labs (in cell and animal studies) before ever reaching human clinic trials. On average, a new cancer drug has been studied for at least six years before it even makes it to clinical trials. It then takes an average of about eight years from the time a cancer drug enters clinical trials until it’s approved. All of these steps ensure the drug is safe and effective.

Clinical Trials & Placebo
Placebos are rarely used alone in cancer research unless no known effective treatments exist. It is not ethical to have someone take a placebo if there’s a treatment available that works. When cancer clinical trials compare treatments, they compare the new treatment against the current standard (proven) treatment. At times, a study may be designed so that patients do not know which one they're getting, but they know they’re getting treatment that at the very least meets the current standard of care.

Informed Consent
Your safety and rights are critical when participating in a clinical trial. If you are interested in volunteering for a clinical trial, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form. Informed consent is an important part of the clinical trial process. Informed consent gives you comprehensive information about the clinical trial before you agree to participate. Informed consent provides you full disclosure of:

What the clinical trial involves:

  • The purpose of the clinical research
  • The known and possible unknown risks, side effects, discomforts and benefit
  • The estimated length of the clinical trial
  • Confidentiality
  • Your rights as a volunteer
  • Contact information for the duration of the study

Available Trials
If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, please talk to your oncologist.

You may also refer to:

Genetic Counseling

Genetic counseling for cancer is intended to assist you in understanding the how your family history and genetics relate to your risks of developing cancer.

Genetic Counseling Details

A genetic consultation can aid the determination of a person, or the family, has an increased risk for developing certain cancers. Although most cancers are not hereditary, some cancers are caused by an inherited gene, passed down through a family. Trained genetic counselor can calculate the possibility of a genetic factor for cancer in a family, and provide individuals with specific cancer risk information. A genetic counselor also can evaluate options for genetic testing, as well as options for cancer management, including prevention and screenings.

Genetic Counseling in our area

Central Baptist Hospital
Location: Lexington, KY
Contact: Sara Campbell, (859) 260-4450, or Justine Cooper, (859) 260-4450,

Kingsport Hematology / Oncology
Location: Kingsport, TN
Contact: Debbie Fry Pencarinha, (423) 224-3736,

Leonard Lawson Cancer Center
Location: Pikeville, KY
Contact: Sadie Hutson, (865) 306-4737,

Markey Cancer Center
Location: Lexington, KY
Contact: Elizabeth Reilly, (859) 323-6252,

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital
Location: Ashland, KY
Contact: Margaret Ward, (606) 833-7465

University of Louisville
Location: Louisville, KY
Contact: Pamela Brock, (502) 852-5334

To find genetic counseling in your area, visit

Road to Recovery Volunteer

Every day thousands of cancer patients need a ride to treatment, but some may not have a way to get there.

Road to Recovery Volunteer Details

The American Cancer Society Road to Recovery program provides transportation to and from treatment for people who have cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves. Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their cars so that patients can receive the life-saving treatments they need.

You can help with the Road to Recovery program by serving as a volunteer driver or coordinator. Volunteer drivers donate their time and resources to take patients to treatment and back home again. They also provide encouragement and support.

Drivers must have a valid driver’s license for the state where they live. They must also have a safe, reliable vehicle and proof of automobile insurance. Volunteer drivers must have a good driving history and be in good health.

Driver coordinators help schedule the rides. Coordinators can work whenever it’s convenient for them, one day a week, during the evening, or weekends. All it takes is as little as a few hours a week of your time, organization, and communication skills to make a major impact on the well-being of cancer patients in your community.

Volunteering is easy and very flexible. To become a volunteer or for more information, contact Josh Johnson at (606) 789-6820 or Josh.Johnson@CANCER.ORG

Look Good...Feel Better

The Look Good...Feel Better program is a free, national public service program.

Look Good...Feel Better Details

Look Good, Feel Better is dedicated to improving the self-esteem and quality of life of people undergoing treatment for cancer. It is our aim to improve their self-image and appearance through complimentary group, individual and self-help beauty sessions that create a sense of support, confidence, courage and community.”

Look Good, Feel Better is a non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. This program is open to all women with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or other forms of treatment.

If you are interested in participating in a Look Good, Feel Better event, contact Kristal Vaughan at (606) 886-7664.

Public Reporting of Outcomes

The Cancer Registry at Highlands Regional Medical Center continues to collect and maintain data on all patients diagnosed and/or treated for cancer at our facility.

Public Reporting of Outcomes Details

Highlands wants the public to be informed of the care and/or events that our cancer program has done each year. This is done by publishing a yearly report that is governed by the standards set forth by the Commission on Cancer (CoC). Each year a yearly report will be published on at least one of the following CoC standards:

  • Prevention Programs (standard 4.1)
  • Screening Programs (standard 4.2)
  • Accountability Measures (standard 4.4)
  • Quality Improvement Measures (standard 4.5)
  • Monitoring Compliance with Evidenced-Based Guidelines (standard 4.6)
  • Studies of Quality (standard 4.7)
  • Quality Improvements (standard 4.8)

2012: Cancer Registry & Outcomes Report for Prostate
2013: Cancer Registry & Outcomes Report for Lung
2014: Lung Cancer Screening
2015: Cancer-Related Community Outreach
2016: Public Reporting of Outcomes
2017: Public Reporting of Outcomes
2018: Public Reporting of Outcomes


Highlands Regional Medical Center

5000 KY Rt. 321
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
(606) 886-8511