NHS Welcomes Radiation Oncologist

NHS Welcomes Radiation Oncologist

NHS is pleased to welcome Dr. Frederick Willison, a radiation oncologist at NHS’s Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center.  Willison replaced Dr. Daniel Murphey following Murphey’s unexpected death in 2017. “I was close personal friends with Daniel P. Murphy, M.D., the former medical director who passed away unexpectedly last year.  I worked closely with him as a colleague and knew of the potential for NHS from that relationship,” said Willison.  “I have also worked closely with several of the Warren Clinic medical oncologists in Tahlequah for over 20 years.  Those relationships created a natural fit.  In addition, the executive leadership of NHS is uniquely collaborative and inspirational.  They are dedicated to moving the health system into the forefront of medical care in Oklahoma through partnerships with physicians.” Willison graduated from the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.  He completed his radiation oncology residency at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, however, radiation oncology wasn’t his immediate choice. “I started a residency in Internal Medicine with plans to be a cardiologist until I did an elective in radiation oncology,” said Willison.  “I learned that I loved the patients, the technology, and the possibility of completely curing life-threatening problems.  The serious nature of the illness creates a special bond between doctor and patient.  The field presents daily challenges to win the most important battle a person may ever face.  New technologies are frequently developed providing a lifelong opportunity to learn new things with great potential.” Like his predecessor, Dr. Murphy, Willison is known as one of the premier radiation oncologists in northeast Oklahoma. “We have been very blessed to have two of...
NHS Celebrates Patient Access Week

NHS Celebrates Patient Access Week

In the face of our quickly changing healthcare environment, there is one constant: the Patient Access department. The first interaction patients have often begins with the Access department, which makes it so necessary to have a friendly face to connect with. We acknowledge our special goodwill ambassadors in the Access Department for setting the standard of care that all our hospital staff aspires to achieve.     Share...
March is Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month

March is Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month

by Dr. Susan Anderson OPEN UP AND SAY Ahhhhhhh! April is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness month. What Is Head and Neck Cancer? As its name implies, head and neck cancer includes cancer of the: Lip, tongue, gums and oral cavity, salivary glands, tonsils, throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), lymph nodes in the neck, nasal cavity, sinuses and ear. Worldwide, head and neck cancer accounts for more than 550,000 cases and 380,000 deaths annually. In the United States, head and neck cancer accounts for 3 percent of all cancers, with approximately 63,000 Americans developing head and neck cancer annually and 13,000 dying from the disease. The Changing Face of Head and Neck Cancer? Classically, head and neck cancer was found in older patients (typically men in their 60’s and 70’s) who had a significant history of tobacco use. Alcohol and tobacco use are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers, especially cancers of the hypopharynx(tissues near the voice box), and larynx. Those who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk of developing these cancers than people who use either tobacco or alcohol alone. In the past 10 years there has been a marked shift in the profile of patients being diagnosed with head and neck cancer and the location of the cancer within the head and neck. Patients are younger (35-55 years old) and cancers involve the oropharynx (most commonly the tonsil or base of tongue). Over the past decade, there has with a steady increase of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) and a decline in cancers of the larynx and hypopharynx....