Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

October 15, 2013

TCH offers extensive care

A comprehensive four-step treatment program ensures the busy center will have the best plans of actions for its patients

TAHLEQUAH — In Cherokee County and the surrounding area, people dealing with cancer have access to a state-of-the-art local facility.

Through its Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center, Tahlequah City Hospital’s on-site cancer treatment capacity is on par with that of any urban hospital or research university.

“I am in charge of radiation therapy oncology at the center,” said Dr. Daniel Murphy. “We have a basic linear accelerator - the most advanced available. With this standard platform, we can perform 85 to 90 percent of radiation treatments. If someone needs something more advanced, we can refer [him or her] to another facility.”

The NOCC also has a PET/CT scanner, which can be used to determine whether cancer is present or to plan treatments. Digital data is scrutinized at multiple computer terminals.

“In radiation oncology, there are four treatment steps: evaluation, simulation, planning and delivery,” Murphy said. “The PET/CT scanner allows us to determine where in the body radiation therapy is to be applied.”

The center is busy. Murphy said 35 patients were scheduled for radiation therapy on Wednesday, with many other patients visiting for other treatments.

Patients can receive medical oncology, or chemotherapy, at the center through visits by doctors from St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

“They are outstanding medical oncology doctors,” Murphy said. “We also have excellent surgical expertise at the hospital as well. Most surgeries can be performed at TCH.”

Murphy said almost all of his patients are referred, often by specialists.

“An example might be a primary care doctor finds an elevated [prostate-specific antigen] level during a routine screening,” Murphy said. “The patient is likely to be sent first to a urologist. The urologist then might need to send the patient here for appropriate treatments.”

The NOCC maximizes its services to allow patients to get as much treatment as possible at one facility, but Murphy said cancer treatment is a team effort.

“In Oklahoma, there are only so many people who do what I do,” Murphy said. “Doctors in this area who treat cancer know one another. We all participate in national meetings and undergo constant retraining and certification to stay on top of our fields and those of each other.”

Asked why he entered such a demanding sphere of medicine, Murphy said he chose radiation oncology precisely because it is a tough job.

“It is so difficult and challenging,” he said. “I got interested in radiation in high school and really enjoyed physics. During my medical education, I realized I was good at psychology, pathology, radiology and surgery. This is what I want to do. Radiation oncology is actually one of the hardest fields to enter now. There are always lots of applications and lots of advances in the field.”

Murphy said it’s important that cancer patients are aware of the array of services offered at the NOCC.

“The main thing people need to remember is that TCH is part of a complete cancer treatment program,” Murphy said. “We recently treated a patient sent to us by Duke University Medical Center. People know about the Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center. We have a great reputation and we work hard to maintain it.”

srowley@tahlequahdailypress.com

1
Text Only
Features
  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • alcohol-info.jpg Alcohol screening can be critical

    It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
    Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
    Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn-CCSO-2.jpg Law enforcement agencies to get new facility

    Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
    “This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Stocks