Taking Cancer Prevention to a Whole New Level
An important way Ochsner Health is undertaking our transformation from a healthcare system to a system that delivers health is by providing tools to keep people healthy and free from disease.
Dr. Li Li, Director of Laboratory Translational Cancer Research, in the Ochsner lab.
As the largest provider of cancer care in Louisiana, Ochsner is leading the fight against the disease with a relentless, multidisciplinary approach toward preventing, detecting and curing all types of cancer.
Louisiana’s cancer incidence rate is among the highest in the nation, and the data tells us that early detection is crucial to improving cancer outcomes. For example, when breast cancer is detected at its earliest stages — Stages 1 or 2 — patients can expect a 99% survival rate over five years. When it is caught at Stage 4, the rate drops to 26%. For colorectal cancer, early detection can increase survival rates six-fold.
That makes strengthening prevention and detection vital to improving health outcomes for individuals across our region — and Ochsner is leading the way. Notes Dr. Brian Moore, Director, Ochsner Cancer Institute, “When performed at the right time or on high-risk patients, routine screenings can catch cancer in its earliest stages, and increase not only the likelihood of cure, but also potentially decrease the side effects of treatment.”
In 2018, Ochsner President & CEO Warner Thomas announced a major new systemwide plan to improve cancer patient outcomes through education and prevention, screenings and early detection among current Ochsner patients and residents of the communities we serve. We set ambitious goals, with a pledge to conduct an additional 141,000 additional cancer screenings by 2022, as well as a minimum of 10,000 community cancer screenings during this period. During 2019 we performed a total of 181,317 screenings among Ochsner patients and participated in 16 community screening events.
This increased screening activity has been made possible by high levels of collaboration and engagement across multiple divisions within the Ochsner system. We leverage electronic health records (EHR) in Epic to proactively identify patients due for screenings. In addition, our Proactive Ochsner Encounters program identifies patients with overdue screenings and encourages them to take those preventive measures.
When breast cancer is detected at its earliest stages — Stages 1 or 2 — patients can expect a
99% survival rate over five years. When it is caught at Stage 4, the rate drops to 26%.
If cancer is diagnosed, Ochsner clinicians stand ready to provide high-quality, compassionate and effective care. We’re proud that Ochsner’s five-year survival rates continue to exceed the national average in every tumor type — including cancers of the lung, liver, breast, colon, esophagus and pancreas.