For colorectal cancer patients, the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer means the most customized and specialized care plan possible.
Showing its commitment to Westchester area residents battling colorectal cancer, White Plains Hospital was recently awarded accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC). The Hospital was one of just 16 in the entire US, the second in New York State, and the only one in the New York Metro area to earn this prestigious distinction.
Colorectal cancer, or malignant tumors in any part of the colon or rectum, is the third most common cancer in the U.S. The American Cancer Society estimates that the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 (4.4%) for men and 1 in 25 (4.1%) for women. While it’s more typical for people older than 50 to be diagnosed, colorectal cancer can strike in younger people as well – often presenting as symptoms that may be dismissed as something not serious.
When a patient is first diagnosed with colorectal cancer, they are referred to a specialist at a medical facility to undergo a complete evaluation, determine the stage of the cancer, and start them on treatment plan. What distinguishes White Plains Hospital from other centers is the strict processes and requirements handed down from NAPRC’s governing body, the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
The ACS is a professional association of surgeons whose goal is to improve the quality of care for surgical patients by raising the bar on education and practice, not just for colorectal cancer surgery but other types of surgery as well, including breast cancer and bariatric (White Plains Hospital has these accreditations, as well).
This includes specially trained pathologists and radiologists assigned to the program, who follow a stringent checklist of criteria when reviewing and presenting a patient’s results. It also means assembling a team of specialists from the WPH Center for Cancer. This team offers its collective input and experience, before agreeing on the best treatment plan, which may include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation – more often a combination of two or all three.
“Within our program, everything happens in parallel,” explains Dr. Joshua Raff, a medical oncologist and Assistant Director of the Colorectal Cancer Program at WPH. “Throughout the entire process, from time of tissue diagnosis through survivorship years later, we coordinate all the expert recommendations. This way our patients receive the most customized and specialized care plan possible. We have all hands on deck, working together seamlessly.”
Premiere Care, Close to Home
It’s a lot of moving pieces and real-time communicating – which is why there’s also a Program Coordinator, a nurse practitioner who serves as patient advocate, coordinating appointments and tests, as well as liaising with the clinical team with the goal of getting the patient into treatment as quickly as possible.
“Flexibility is key. There are always changes in treatment decisions,” says colorectal surgeon Dr. Kimberly Yee, Director of the Colorectal Cancer Program. “The end goal is for a cure, and as things evolve, we may make alterations in terms of the treatment that’s recommended.”
Dr. Yee is the first board-certified female colorectal surgeon to practice in Westchester County, and she has pioneered several new technologies in the management of colorectal disease at White Plains Hospital.
“Our team at the White Plains Hospital Center for Cancer Care prides itself on teamwork, quality and experience, ensuring our patients are able to access world-class cancer treatment close to home,” says Dr. Yee.
Dr. Kimberly Yee is a colorectal surgeon and Director of the Colorectal Cancer Program at WPH.
To make an appointment, call (914) 948-1000.