On Dec. 7, Advocate Sherman Hospital's Cancer Care Center hosted the dedication of their new Radiation Oncology Expansion, complete with a new Varian Truebeam Linear Accelerator, patient-centered rooms, with a one-of-a kind garden. The Cancer Care Center at 1425 N. Randall Road in Elgin has always offered radiation treatment to patients, using a linear accelerator, but recently upgraded to the latest linear accelerator for further advanced and precise treatment for cancer tumors.
The most common being treated are lung and breast cancer. The new expansion area offers day-lighting, one of the nation's few gardens in a radiation treatment room, and improved changing rooms with the patient solely in mind.
"This is more than a labor of love, it has been a relentless passion of ours to get this project approved and completed," shared President Linda Deering Dean, "We believe in leading health and making a positive difference for our patients, families, and community."
Deering Dean went on to share that the Cancer Care Center team proposed this space design, with natural light and a healing garden, knowing that it would help decrease their patients fear. Instead, it would bring joy, beauty, and healing to their experience, along with the latest technology.
"A lot of progress is happening in the field of oncology as new personalized treatments are changing the landscape rapidly for the better," stated Dr. C. Yeshwant, medical oncologist and chairman of the Cancer Care committee at Sherman. "Radiation therapy plays a very important role in the treatment of cancer patients. This advanced and state of the art equipment certainly enhances our ability as a team to do the very best for our patients."
Three new features of the linear accelerator for Sherman's cancer patients will be stereotactic body radiation, which means that high dose radiation will be targeted within the body with laser like precision to just the tumor.
Brain tumors will now be treated that couldn't before because they were very small or hard to get to places. The accelerator also has a CT scan to measure tumors day to day with accurate readings on any changes. Lastly, it will help breast cancer patients to ensure that the treatments are effective and safe, decreasing the radiation dose that affects the heart on the left-handed side. This is possible as the machine only gives radiation during the furthest distance between the heart and breast tumor, based on the patient's breathing.
"This expansion means a lot to our community," remarked City of Elgin Councilwoman Rose Marie Martinez, "…the impact that (Sherman) has for our community I cannot even begin to measure." Martinez shared she was born at Sherman and then worked for Sherman as an X-ray Tech aide. It made such an impact on her life that she joined the U.S. Army and became an X-ray tech.
Martinez also went on to share that when her cousin had cancer in 2005, her physician was Dr. Courtney Coke, radiation oncologist, at Advocate Sherman Hospital.
"We are celebrating life, marvels of medicine, and vision," shared Dr. Courtney Coke, " … we are able to do things out of the box for our patients. One of my colleagues mentioned to me how nurturing and comforting this area will be for our patients."
Other medical professionals shared that is not only one of the most beautiful facilities they have seen in the country, but the team is experienced. There is still nothing that can compete with the power of the human touch.
For information about Advocate Sherman Hospital's Cancer Care Center, call (224) 783-8746.