Cancer Centers Award Recipients

Cancer Centers Receives Employer Recognition Award

The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma has been selected as the 2019 Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation Small Employer Recognition Award recipient. The award was presented on Friday, April 12, during the Recognition Breakfast for Oncology Certified Nurses at the ONS Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.

The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma put a major emphasis on certification and participation in professional organizations. While newly hired nurses do not have to be certified upon hire, they are required to become certified within the first two years of employment. CCSO is also a major proponent of the Oncology Nursing Society. Reimbursement is given for ONS membership dues, courses taken through ONS, and travel costs to attend the meetings in Oklahoma City. Patients are made aware of certified nurses since we include information on patient education materials, on our website and in patient teaching sessions.

The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma currently has 31 nurses on staff, 25 RNs and 6 LPNs. 16 are ONC and/or CBNC certified. At the time of nomination, 16 out of the 22 RNs (73%) on staff were certified.

man sitting on beach with child

Prostate Cancer Prevention

June is Men’s Health Month! The second leading cause of cancer death in American men behind lung cancer is prostate cancer, and about 1 man in 41 will die from this disease. 1 Although some men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than others, there are certain lifestyle choices that may lower the risk.


About prostate cancer


All men have a prostate. This small, muscular gland produces some of the ingredients of semen. It is situated  just in front of the rectum and below the bladder.


Prostate Cancer is the second most common type of cancer affecting men after skin cancer. About one man in nine will receive this diagnosis  during his lifetime. 1


Older men and African-American men are most likely to develop prostate cancer. Around 60% of cases are men aged 65 or older; rarely does a diagnosis occur before age 40. The average age when diagnosis occurs is about age 66. 1


Who has an increased risk of prostate cancer?


Age is the most common risk of prostate cancer. However, African American men are at an increased risk. Those that have a family history of prostate cancer are also more likely to develop the disease.


How can prostate cancer be prevented?




One way men can lower their prostate cancer risk is through a healthy, low fat diet. Diets high in saturated fats such as those found in meat and dairy are associated with a higher risk for prostate cancer.


Other good dietary choices for prevention include eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.


Although no one diet is typically recommended for prostate cancer prevention, the Mediterranean Diet is a good choice and has proven to lower a man’s risk of prostate cancer development. 2




Men who are obese (a body mass index of 30 or higher) may have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.


Men who exercise regularly may have reduced prostate cancer risk. Always discuss a new exercise program with your primary care physician. In general, a well-rounded exercise program including a half-hour of physical activity most or all days of the week delivers many health benefits.


If you are a man who struggles to fit exercise into your day-to-day routine, you needn’t perform this activity all at once. You can break daily exercise into 10-minute segments.



For those with an increased risk of prostate cancer, medications may also be necessary for risk reduction. You can discuss this possibility with your doctor. If you think you have a high risk of prostate cancer, a CCMH Provider would be happy to review these concerns with you. To learn about cancer care available on the CCMH campus at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center, visit



1 The American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer. 2018.

2 Relevant, Julie. Fox News. 10 foods that can help prevent prostate cancer. 12 September 2016.




The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.


Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month Image

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Most cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that is passed from person to person during sex. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer. The Pap test looks for cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated, and the HPV test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes. HPV vaccines can protect women against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable. The most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer is to get screening tests regularly starting at age 21.

Key Facts

  • Most women don’t need a Pap test every year! If your test results are normal, you may be able to wait 3 years between tests.
  • HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer. Get kids vaccinated against HPV at age 11-12 to help prevent cervical cancer.
  • Early cervical cancer may not cause symptoms. Advanced cervical cancer may cause abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge.
  • If your test results are not normal, talk to your doctor. Cervical cancer is highly curable when found and treated early.

Prevention Tips

  • The most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer is to get screened regularly.
  • If you’re 26 years old or younger, get the HPV vaccine.
  • Use condoms during sex.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners.
  • Don’t smoke.
Faster Diagnostic Testing for Breast Cancer

Faster Diagnostic Testing for Breast Cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month and Comanche County Memorial Hospital, is the only hospital to offer the fastest testing for breast cancer in southwest Oklahoma.

In the past when a patient had a mammogram and a lump was found, the tissue taken from the biopsy would be sent out of state for pathologists to examine. That could take up to a week. But if the patient needed additional testing, it could take even longer.

Now CCMH offers this type of testing on site. Patients can have the diagnosis of cancer within 24 – 48 hours.

Dr. Carol Dittmann is the Chief of Pathology at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. She says decreasing the time they inform the patient of a diagnosis of cancer is crucial.

“From the point the patient has an abnormal mammogram to the point of seeing the oncologist and making treatment plans and decisions, we aim for that to be less than a week,” Dr. Dittmann said. “With this new technology in house, we are able to achieve that.”

Dr. Dittmann wants to remind people that breast cancer can happen to both men and women, and that this new technology can help everyone in the community. She says to keep up with your yearly mammograms and to get checked out if you feel a lump in your breasts.

To schedule an appointment to get a mammogram, you can call the McMahon Center for Breast Health at 580-250-5856.

Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma

Advanced Brachytherapy Radiation Treatments Now at Our Lawton Facility

The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma would like to announce the addition of High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy treatments for gynecological cancers at our Lawton facility. We have added a Nucletron Microselectron 6 channel HDR unit and are ready to begin treating patients with cervical and uterine cancers. This additional treatment option will be of great benefit to patients in Southwest Oklahoma who will no longer have to make the long drive out of town to receive this type of Radiation Therapy.

Delivering these treatments will be Dr. J. Michael Kerley and Dr. M. Leann Smith. Dr. Kerley has over 20 years experience with HDR Brachytherapy performing a variety of procedures. Those procedures include skin treatments, prostate, lung, and gynecological tumors.

Dr. Smith joins our practice after completing her training from the University of Oklahoma at the Stevenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City, OK. Both physicians have extensive training and knowledge in delivering Brachytherapy treatments and are enthusiastic to begin offering this treatment locally.

To schedule a potential patient please call 580.536.2121, Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM and our scheduler will be happy to set up the consultation appointment with either Dr. Kerley or Dr. Smith. Additionally, both physicians can be reached at this number if you would like to speak to them personally about a particular patient or with questions about our Brachytherapy program.


Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma