North Country Hospital raises $160,000 to fight cancer

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North Country Hospital raises $160,000 to fight cancer

Tue, 07/19/2011 - 6:23am -- tim

As an oncologist at the Oncology and Hematology Clinic at North Country Hospital in Newport, Les Lockridge MD knows all too well the impact cancer has on patients, their families, and the community. So when about 600 people took part in this year’s Relay for Life in Newport on June 25 and 26 his heart was warmed by the region’s dedication to battling cancer.
The event, which included 60 teams, raised almost $160,000, beating out last year’s $143,000.
Les Lockridge M.D. and Evelyn Page, a cancer survivor, were two of the several hundred people who attended this year’s relay for life.
‘Anytime you have the community rally to fight cancer that is a good thing,’ Dr Lockridge said. ‘A portion of the money goes toward cancer research and remainder goes towards helping patients cover expenses not covered by health insurance.
‘At Relay we celebrate the lives of survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back so that one day no one hears the words, "You have Cancer". The Fight Back Ceremony itself is designed to keep people thinking about the ways they can fight back the other 364 days a year,’ explained Dr. Lockridge. ‘Wearing sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and getting pre-screening treatments like mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap tests are all ways we can be pro-active in our fight against cancer.’
For a number of years North Country Hospital’s Oncology and Hematology Clinic has sponsored the Fight Back Ceremony at the relay. This is appropriate since the clinic has been helping patients fight cancer for over 20 years.
While nobody wants to get the news they have cancer, Dr. Lockridge said a growing number of people are surviving it.
"The future is undeniably bright for cancer care,’ he said.  ‘We’ve made so much progress in the way of non-chemo/non-toxic therapeutics and supportive care (anti-nausea drugs, blood growth factors, etc.) that the face of oncology has changed dramatically from even ten years ago. Treatment is much gentler, our understanding of side effects is greater now, and oncology is still the fastest developing field in medicine. As far as outcomes, cancer is more curable and much more manageable.  Myeloma, for instance, is now more like diabetes in terms of being something you live with rather than die from.’