(LEXINGTON, NC—August 27, 2014) Kenneth Holmes of the Central Davidson community noticed that the persistent numbness in his left cheek seemed to be getting worse. He had seen numerous doctors numerous times, tried several prescription anti-inflammatory ointments, but nothing seemed to help.
It wasn’t until a referral to Brandon Chapman, M.D., ENT head and neck surgeon in Lexington, that Holmes finally got a diagnosis. He had cancer and required immediate treatment. “I remember that day very well,” Holmes said. “Dr. Chapman examined me and after looking at the inside of my cheek immediately recommended a biopsy. “
The biopsy confirmed Dr. Chapman’s suspicions. “This was not a common presentation,” he said, and was felt to be the result of squamous cell carcinoma that had likely spread from an old skin cancer.” Due to the extent of the lesion, Dr. Chapman referred Holmes to the Department of Otolaryngology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. In a matter of days, Holmes was scheduled for surgery where he underwent an extensive resection and reconstruction of his cheek and face. “This required removing a section of skin and tissue from my shoulder and grafting it onto my face,” Holmes explained.
Holmes isn’t the type to wallow in self pity. “I had a diagnosis and was ready to move on with treatment,” he said. Following the initial surgery, the next step in his recovery involved six weeks of radiation therapy. “I had the surgery in January and needed a few weeks to heal before beginning radiation treatments,” he said. “I began those treatments in April under the care of Dr. Laura Allen at Cancer Center-Lexington."
Holmes admits that he had no idea that the Cancer Center Lexington even existed until he showed up for his first appointment. Located on the campus of Wake Forest Baptist Health Lexington Medical Center, the Cancer Center provides medical oncology and radiation therapy services and is staffed by faculty physicians from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Holmes required a total of 30 treatments—given five days a week for six weeks. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the care I received,” Holmes said. “Dr. Allen and the entire Cancer Center Lexington staff put me at ease at the onset,” he said, “and I appreciated their promptness. My appointment was at 9 a.m. daily, and I never had to wait to be seen,” he said. “The fact that they respected my time was important to me.” Additionally, as a Davidson County resident, it was more convenient for him to have his daily clinic visits in Lexington. “I could be in and out in no time—a definite advantage when you’re looking at a six week course of treatment.”
Holmes feels that he received excellent, seamless care throughout the course of his diagnosis and treatment. “My experience serves as a prime example of world class care available through the Wake Forest Baptist system,” he said. “I highly recommend the services I received both in Lexington and in Winston-Salem. “
Dr. Chapman agrees. “As part of the Wake Forest Baptist system, Holmes received the correct diagnosis and management while accessing world class care both in Lexington and Winston-Salem.
Holmes still faces another round of plastic surgery, but the bulk of treatment is behind him. “The community is fortunate to have great physicians and services such as the Cancer Center available,” he said. “As someone with firsthand experience, I highly recommend it.
The Cancer Center-Lexington provides outpatient chemotherapy and radiation therapy and is located on the Lexington Medical Center campus. The hospital first opened an oncology clinic within the hospital in 1994 to provide outpatient chemotherapy treatments. The service was a cooperative effort between the hospital and the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. In 1998, patient volumes had increased to a point that necessitated more space, and the clinic moved to office space on the hospital campus
Six years ago, the hospital and Wake Forest Baptist partnered to expand cancer services through the provision of radiation oncology, a first-time service in Davidson County. After gaining State approval for installation of a linear accelerator, radiation oncology opened in space adjacent to the medical oncology clinic. It was renamed Cancer Center-Lexington when LMC merged with Wake Forest Baptist in 2008.
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