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Cancer Center

At Lake Regional Health System, we're committed to helping people with cancer. In our Cancer Center, we offer state-of-the-art therapies that can find and treat cancer. And our team is made up of compassionate providers who will treat you—and the people you love—like family.

Cancer Treatment Options We Offer

We address a wide variety of cancers, including:

  • lung cancer
  • breast cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • lymphoma
  • and more.

Each type of cancer is a little different, and the therapies that work best on these cancers can vary. We'll explain your options carefully, and we'll create a treatment plan that's best for your cancer, your health and your goals.

Your treatment plan might involve:

Surgery

Our surgeons can take tissue samples to diagnose or stage cancer. They can also perform surgeries to remove cancerous tumors from your body.

Chemotherapy

We have 10 private infusion bays in our Cancer Center—each equipped with a television and wireless internet. During your therapy, you can rest, relax or catch up on a favorite program. Our nurses will be close at hand during your therapy to monitor your progress and offer added support if you need it.

Radiation Therapy

We offer high-tech radiation options that can target tumors while sparing healthy tissue. These machines work quickly too. Our treatments are done in less time than needed by conventional radiation therapy machines.

We offer a number of programs that can help you to manage the side effects of cancer treatments and the life changes cancer can bring. We encourage you to visit our Cancer Support page to find out more. Or, stop by the office of our cancer resource navigator the next time you're in our Cancer Center. She can explain how our programs work and how you can get involved.

Meet Our Cancer Treatment Team

When you come to the Cancer Center for treatment, you'll work with a team of professionals, including:

  • Oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Nurses certified in oncology and palliative care
  • Registered dietitians
  • Surgeons
  • Pathologists

Our team works together to provide the medical expertise you need close to home.

Patient Stories

Watch Nancy McElyea's breast cancer story and learn how early detection at Lake Regional Cancer Center saved her life.

Know Your Body: Nancy McElyea

Nancy McElyea relied on the support of her husband, Charlie, to get her through her cancer diagnosis and treatment. Nancy McElyea relied on the support of her husband, Charlie, to get her through her cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Nancy McElyea was not expecting a breast cancer diagnosis, but when it came, she never considered getting her care anywhere other than Lake Regional Health System.

McElyea is a retired Kindergarten teacher and long-time resident of Camdenton. The mother of two and grandmother of four loves making memories with her family and friends. Every day, she and her husband, Charlie, go for a long walk with their dog. They also love to travel and explore state and national parks.

In February 2019, the couple was enjoying a vacation in Florida, when she felt something suspicious in her breast.

“I was not too concerned but thought it would be best to have it checked out when I returned home,” McElyea said.

The Diagnosis

McElyea had a mammogram and breast ultrasound at Lake Regional Imaging Center that detected a lump; a biopsy then confirmed that it was breast cancer.

Lake Regional Oncologist Maggi Coplin, M.D., determined that a lumpectomy was the next step. Because McElyea’s cancer was detected early, she did not need radiation or chemotherapy.

“Nancy had an OncotypeDx test after her biopsy, which looks at 21 different genes to help determine the benefit of chemotherapy,” Dr. Coplin said. “She had a low risk of cancer recurrence and was able to skip chemotherapy and go straight to an anti-estrogen pill. We also discussed lifestyle choices to decrease her risk of recurrence, including diet and exercise.”

Lake Regional General Surgeon John Patton, D.O., FACOS, performed the lumpectomy, and McElyea felt like a weight had been lifted when the doctors told her for certain that the cancer had not spread beyond her breast.

“After I had my lumpectomy and was told my lymph nodes were clear, I could finally breathe a sigh of relief,” McElyea said.

McElyea credits the support of her husband, who volunteers as assistant secretary on Lake Regional Board of Directors, and her team at Lake Regional for helping her get through her diagnosis and treatment.

“Charlie was my rock through it all, going with me to every appointment,” McElyea said. “I felt very blessed to have a support team at Lake Regional that worked well together. I would always ask the doctors what they would do in my situation, and I felt confident that they were giving me the best advice and care possible.”

Compassionate Care

McElyea has seen Lake Regional Health System grow tremendously during the past 40 years. Her family relies on Lake Regional for all of their health care needs, and three out of four of her grandchildren were born at the hospital. McElyea’s positive opinion of the health system was amplified after her experiences at Lake Regional Cancer Center.

“Everyone from the receptionist to the nurses and beyond were encouraging and caring,” McElyea said. “I could tell it was important to all the workers at the Cancer Center to provide personalized care to every patient.”

McElyea was grateful that she did not have to travel a long distance for quality care. She also felt encouraged during her treatment by all the women who called to offer her support and advice. Now she feels like it is her turn to be an inspiration to others.

“Make sure to have regular check-ups and screenings,” McElyea said. “I think all women should do self-check exams as well because no one knows your body like you do. You are your own best advocate and should make your health a top priority.”

Watch Nancy McElyea's complete video testimonial.

Do Surgery Here: Skip Thomas

Lake Regional Urologist Eric McQueary, M.D., and Skip Thomas Lake Regional Urologist Eric McQueary, M.D., and Skip Thomas

Ira “Skip” Thomas learned he had prostate cancer in June 2018. The 73-year-old from Camdenton thought he’d have to go to Columbia to get the recommended care —minimally invasive surgery using a robotic system. Then he learned Lake Regional Health System was adding a da Vinci X robotic surgery system.

Compared to traditional minimally invasive prostate surgery, da Vinci surgeries have many potential benefits, including fewer complications, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery.

“Columbia is a long drive from Camdenton, so I decided I’d rather do the surgery here at Lake Regional,” Thomas said.

Lake Regional Urologist Eric McQueary, D.O., performed Thomas’s surgery.

“He’s very straightforward, very honest,” Thomas said. “I really like him.”

Dr. McQueary is always in the same room as his patients when performing da Vinci surgeries, and he is always fully in control of how the instruments move.

Thomas’s surgery went well. He returned home after one night in the hospital and needed only one pain pill.

“I had no problems at all,” he said.

Two weeks later at a checkup, Thomas felt great and was thankful he received the care he needed at Lake Regional.

“Dr. McQueary explained the whole procedure to me ahead of time, so I was very relaxed and comfortable with it,” he said. “I would recommend it to anybody.”

3-D Mammograms

The most effective test for detecting breast cancer is now at Lake Regional Imaging Center. 3-D mammograms provide clearer images from several angles, so they show smaller cancers at an earlier stage, when they are easier to treat. Learn more.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 45 to 54 get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older may choose to switch to every two years.

To schedule your 3-D mammogram, call Lake Regional Imaging Center at 573.348.6161.

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment

Are you at risk for developing breast cancer? Take a free assessment here.

If you are concerned about your breast cancer risk, Dr. Maggi Coplin has the expertise to advise and help you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Coplin, call 573.302.2772.

Find Out More About Our Cancer Center

In 2015, our Cancer Center was the only program in the state to earn an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer. It's an achievement we're proud of—and it demonstrates the excellence our team offers the community each day.

We invite you to find out more. Download our Annual Report, or visit our Provider Directory.