In 2010 a study found that breast cancer patients at Jeff Anderson Regional Cancer Center in Meridian had some of the highest survival rates in the nation. To date that distinction remains.
"Our cure rates, when compared to all of the centers that treat breast cancer, are in the top 4% in treating stage three," says JARCC Oncologist, Dr. John Halbrook. "In stage three breast cancers, which are more advanced breast cancers, we rank in the top 4% in the nation for survivals for those patients. Those patients have a lot higher risk of cancer coming back because it's locally advanced."
Dr. Halbrook has worked as an oncologist at Anderson's Cancer Center since it opened in 2003. Three years ago the survival rate for patients diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at Anderson's was 72%; that was higher than the national rate of 57%. To this day, Anderson's is still one of the leaders in that category. Dr. Halbrook attributes some of the the center's overall success to more early detection and intensive screenings.
"About 40% of our patients are under 50; that's important because those are the patients who are at the highest risk of recurrence and of course would have the longest life expectancies, and we're catching more of those early."
Each year about 100 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed at the Jeff Anderson Cancer Center. According to Dr. Halbrook, about 45% of the breast cancer patients there are being treated for a stage one diagnosis. Because that's the earliest stage, he says there's a 90% cure rate for it.