Accredited Program Makes Young Man’s CRC a Distant Memory

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Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>Allegheny Health Network</b>

Trevor Batey was enjoying the first years of marriage and his work as a truck driver when cancer put the brakes on his life. He was in his early 20s when he saw blood in his stool, had a colonoscopy, and was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Trevor Batey was enjoying the first years of marriage and his work as a truck driver when cancer put the brakes on his life. He was in his early 20s when he saw blood in his stool, had a colonoscopy, and was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Soon after, Trevor met with his comprehensive AHN Cancer Institute team, including James McCormick, DO, medical director of AHN Cancer Institute’s Colorectal Cancer Program. Dr. McCormick informed Trevor that his cancer was from a rare genetic disorder called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and that surgery would be required.

During Trevor’s six-hour colon resection surgery at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), Dr. McCormick removed his colon and created a j-pouch, which would eventually allow for normal bowel function. But Trevor needed to use a temporary ileostomy bag while his body healed from surgery during two long, difficult months.

“A fantastic ostomy nurse came to our home to help us cope with a life that was so incredibly different,” Trevor said. “But it was a dark time for me.” After the second surgery that reconnected his lower intestines to the j-pouch, Trevor felt much stronger and more himself.

“We are so blessed to have had such an amazing experience,” Trevor said. “I know that sounds crazy, but the nurses, doctors, physician’s assistants, and specialists we dealt with made the darkest, scariest moment of my life seem so much less frightening and impossible.”

Nationally Accredited Program and Expert Team

Colorectal cancer is very treatable when caught early but can be challenging to treat in its later stages, Dr. McCormick said. AHN physicians are experts at performing interventional endoscopic techniques and complex colorectal surgeries. Endoscopic procedures can be performed to treat early colon and rectal cancer without surgery. Also, physicians can remove the cancerous portions of the colon or rectum through minimally invasive and robotic surgeries, allowing patients to experience less pain and a faster recovery than with traditional surgery.

In March, the rectal cancer programs at AGH and Forbes Hospital became the first facilities in Pennsylvania, and the seventh and eight facilities in the country, to achieve accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC). The accreditation program — administered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in conjunction with the American Cancer Society — recognizes facilities at the forefront of multidisciplinary rectal cancer care for their rigorous standards and best practices.

“Rectal cancer is not a cancer that gets a lot of attention, so someone who is diagnosed with rectal cancer may feel very alone. That is just one reason why the kind of multidisciplinary, patient-centered collaborative care offered by NAPRC-accredited programs is so important,” Dr. McCormick said.

To earn the voluntary accreditation, AHN Cancer Institute’s Rectal Cancer Program met 19 standards, including the establishment of a rectal cancer multidisciplinary team of experts with clinical representatives from surgery, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology, who meet weekly to tailor individualized treatment plans.

Thirteen of those standards address clinical services that the program was required to provide, such as the use of advanced testing for ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of treatment and advanced imaging for cancer staging. One of the most important clinical standards requires all rectal cancer patients to be presented at both pre- and post-treatment meetings of the multidisciplinary team.

The AHN rectal cancer care team includes five surgeons, five medical oncologists, five radiation oncologists, four radiologists, three pathologists, five physicians, and two nurse navigators. Rectal cancer care at AHN is centered at AGH and Forbes Hospital and integrated throughout AHN Cancer Institute’s 24 treatment sites.

“When a cancer center achieves this type of specialized accreditation, it means that their rectal cancer patients will receive streamlined, modern evaluation and treatment for the disease. Compliance with our standards will assure optimal care for these patients,” said David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, medical director of ACS Cancer Programs.

Putting Cancer in the Rear View Mirror

Trevor, now 30, is healthy, busy on the job and enjoying life with his wife, Morgan, and their 1-year-old son, Jack.

Trevor credits his health care team with saving his life and always being there to listen and check on how he and his wife were doing. He will continue to be closely monitored for years. Now that he knows about his FAP, he can alert his family members to get regular screenings. When Trevor talks about his cancer battle, it seems like a distant memory, and he’s moving on.

For more information on the rectal cancer program contact James McCormick, DO at 412-310-2892 or

*da Vinci® Surgical System is a registered trademark of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and is used with permission.