Center of Excellence for Rectal Cancer Accreditation Earned by OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center

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Center of Excellence for Rectal Cancer Accreditation Earned by  OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center

OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences has earned a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), making it the only accredited program in Oklahoma and one of only three other accredited programs within a 500-mile radius to receive the accreditation from the quality program of the American College of Surgeons.

NAPRC accreditation reinforces OU Health’s commitment to excellence in rectal cancer care. Treatment approaches will align with the latest evidence-based care and best practices. Patients treated at NAPRC- accredited centers can expect improved outcomes, including higher survival rates and better preservation of bodily function.

“The NAPRC accreditation is a monumental win for Oklahoma,” said OU Health surgical oncologist, Barish Edil, M.D. FACS, professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the OU College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences. “With this accreditation we can continue to provide world-class treatment for Oklahomans with rectal cancer, while furthering research, and care options. I am proud of what we are accomplishing as a patient-centered, multidisciplinary cancer team.”

To achieve NAPRC accreditation, a rectal cancer center must demonstrate compliance with the NAPRC standards addressing program management, clinical services, and quality improvement for patients. Centers are required to establish a multidisciplinary rectal cancer team that includes clinical representatives from surgery, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. Only the programs committed to providing the best care possible to patients with rectal cancer are granted accreditation by the NAPRC.

Additionally, the team demonstrated an adherence to standards addressing clinical services set for the rectal cancer program. This accomplishment ensures that patients receive consistent and high-quality care, including essential clinical services such as Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) testing, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Computerized Tomography (CT) imaging for accurate cancer staging. Importantly, patients can start their treatment within a defined timeframe, leading to better outcomes and improved well-being.

“This is a major achievement for our organization,” said OU Health surgical oncologist, Ajay Jain, M.D. FACS, professor and Division Chief of Surgical Oncology at the OU College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences. “This achievement is the culmination of more than five years of effort that started in July 2019. Members of the program put in tremendous time and effort to optimize quality, communication, and rapid care for rectal cancer patients as mandated by over 20 rigorous NAPRC standards. This even included photo documentation of all rectal cancer specimens in order to ensure adequate surgical technique was applied and the mesorectal excision was complete.”

The NAPRC accreditation is a recognition of Stephenson Cancer Center’s commitment to providing high-quality, patient-centric, and multidisciplinary approach to care. As the state’s only NCI-designated Cancer Center, the accreditation underscores the commitment of Stephenson Cancer Center as the largest and most comprehensive oncology practice in Oklahoma, highlighting the collaborative efforts of specialists from various fields under the one roof.

“Rectal cancer is uniquely challenging to treat due to its location,” said OU Health colon and rectal cancer surgeon, Steven N. Carter, M.D., FACS, FASCRS, Rectal Cancer Center Program Director. “Adherence to proper surgical techniques has shown a 75% decrease in local cancer recurrence. OU Health has policies and procedures to continually evaluate our performance and to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients with rectal cancer. It requires a team effort, and this designation with its standards ensures we are giving Oklahomans the care they deserve.”

In Oklahoma, colon and rectal cancers are 19% higher than the national average. The American Cancer Society reports that the number of people getting diagnosed with colon cancer has doubled since 1995, yet, more than one in three Oklahoma adults ages 50 and older are not getting tested as recommended. Screening for colon and rectal cancers should start at 45-years-old. Statistics show that 90% percent of all individuals diagnosed with colorectal cancer, at an early or local stage, are still alive five years later. OU Health surgeons offer patients the best chance to avoid stomas, cure stage 4 disease, and get back to what they enjoy most.

Learn more about comprehensive treatment and patient-focused care for colon and rectal cancer at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center and make an appointment or get a second opinion by calling (405) 271-1112.