Screening Guidelines for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men.  While the disease is prevalent across the country, the screening guidelines are not.  Prostate cancer screenings have always been somewhat controversial because the tests often alert physicians to the presence of cancer, but there is no precise way to determine, definitively, whether the cancer

Comparing CyberKnife and Proton Therapy

Radiation therapy can be classified according to the types of radiation particles or waves that are used to deliver the treatment.  The three major types of radiation therapy are photons, electrons, or protons.  While all three types have similar effects on tumor tissue and damage cancer cells, photons and electrons are the most readily available,

Recommended Cancer Screenings for Men

June is Men’s Health Month, a national observance used to raise awareness about health care for men and focus on encouraging men to take care of their bodies by eating right, exercising, and working to prevent disease.  The official symbol for the month is a blue ribbon and the purpose of the month is to

Cancer Care Prevention during a Pandemic

It’s always important to discuss cancer and how to prevent it, but that conversation is more vital now than ever. According to the recent 2021 Facts and Figures released by the American Cancer Society (ACS), a substantial proportion of cancers could be prevented, including all cancers caused by tobacco use and other unhealthy behaviors.  The

Prostate Cancer: Know Your Options

Thanks to advancements in research and treatment methods, men diagnosed with prostate cancer have more options and resources available to them than ever before. Whether you or a loved one has been newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, talking to your doctor to learn more about the disease and treatments that are right for you is

Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many cancer patients are having to make the difficult decision to continue with their current cancer regimen or delay treatments.  Cancer patients and physicians must carefully weigh the potential benefit of routine cancer care versus the risk of COVID-19. To help ease these decisions, several peer-reviewed, non-profit cancer care organizations

National Brain Tumor Awareness Month

May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month.  Driven by advancement in research, surgical techniques, genetic discoveries, and much more, it has never been a better time to take action on brain tumors. The National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), an organization whose mission is to unrelentingly invest in, mobilize, and unite our community to discover a

Prostate Cancer Treatment and Sexual Function

When deciding which treatment option is best for their prostate cancer, men take numerous factors into consideration.  While their physician’s recommendation does play an important role in the treatment decision, in the end, most men make the choice that is best for them.  That choice is often based on treatment outcomes and side effects, and

Types of Trigeminal Neuralgia: Typical vs. Atypical

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a rare and excruciating nerve disorder that can occur when a blood vessel compresses the trigeminal nerve, the largest nerve in the head, and causes debilitating pain in various parts of the face and jaw region. Trigeminal neuralgia is usually categorized as typical or atypical, with symptoms differing depending on the

This Breast Cancer Treatment Could Take Less Time

By: Neda Bencun The statistics are high: Breast cancer affects approximately 237,000 women in the United States each year and remains the second leading cancer and cause of death in women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many people have a family member or someone they know who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Advances in treatment

Treating Trigeminal Neuralgia with Radiation Therapy

Though primarily used to treat benign and malignant tumors, stereotactic radiosurgery can also treat additional medical conditions, including a rare nerve disorder called trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Excruciating facial pain triggered by everyday activities such as chewing, talking or swallowing characterizes the debilitating condition.  TN can often be mistaken for a dental problem since the disorder

Celebrating Cancer Survivors

June is National Cancer Survivor Month, a time to celebrate and recognize cancer survivors, inspire those recently diagnosed, and, most importantly, to celebrate life. During the month, cancer survivors and supporters in communities around the world unite to celebrate life and raise awareness of the challenges faced by cancer survivors. It is a time for

Lung Cancer in Illinois: Facts and Figures

Did you know that 26 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every day in Illinois?  Check out this lung cancer infographic from the Illinois Department of Public Health to learn more about one of the most common and deadly types of cancer.

CDC Reports Liver Cancer Death Rates Rise 43 Percent

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading national public health institute of the United States, liver cancer death rates have increased 43 percent. Although the mortality rate for all cancers combined has declined over 25 years, the age-adjusted liver cancer death rate for U.S. adults 25 and

Cancer Care is a Team Effort

When it comes to fighting cancer, it takes a team of people.  Treatment at our center means that you are not alone in the fight. Cancer treatments are rapidly advancing and having a research focused team of radiation oncologists enables us to bring you the most up-to-date approaches to fighting your specific cancer. In cancer

Dr. Hirsch Talks with WGN About Beating Prostate Cancer

One man shares how he was able to successfully get through prostate cancer treatment and get back to enjoying time with his wife. We also learn why it’s important to ask your doctor about treatment options if you’re diagnosed, and how prostate cancer is often detected.

Dr. Heuser's CyberKnife Story

Watch general surgeon, Dr. Louis Heuser, talk about why he chose CyberKnife for the treatment of his prostate cancer. Dr. Heuser was very happy with the quick treatments and the fact that he was able to stay close to home and continue to work and see his patients. It’s Your Prostate, Your Cancer, Your Choice.

Accelerated Breast Radiation Therapy Following Mastectomy Shortens Treatment Time While Maintaining Tumor Control

According to research presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the world’s largest radiation oncology society, radiation therapy following mastectomy for intermediate-stage, high-risk breast cancer can be shortened from five to three weeks while maintaining tumor control rates in the breast and surrounding region that are equivalent to

Adding Radiation to Chemotherapy May Dramatically Improve Survival for Advanced-Stage NSCLC Patients

According to a new clinical trial reported at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), combining radiation therapy with chemotherapy for patients with limited metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may curb disease progression dramatically when compared to NSCLC patients who only receive chemotherapy. Lung cancer claims the most cancer-specific

Study: Most Melanomas Don’t Arise From Existing Moles

Summer is officially over and fall is here.  Although the summer activities have halted for the year, it doesn’t mean you need to stop your sunscreen routine.  Sunscreen should been worn year-round for protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.  Another good end of the season skin tip is to perform a skin self-exam. According to

Targeted Radiotherapy Limits Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment

According to study results published in The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, breast cancer patients who have radiotherapy targeted at the original tumor site experience fewer side effects five years after treatment than those who have whole breast radiotherapy, and their cancer is just as unlikely to return. The researchers at 30 radiotherapy

Surgery and High-Dose SBRT Radiation Can Be Combined to Treat Kidney Cancer

A new study titled “A Pilot Study of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Combined with Cytoreductive Nephrectomy for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma” reports the findings of the first clinical trial to evaluate the immune effects of high-dose radiation therapy followed by surgery in patients with advanced kidney cancer may also set the stage for combination treatments

American Urological Association, American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Urologic Oncology Release Joint Prostate Cancer Guidelines

Last week, the American Urological Association (AUA), the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), and the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) released collaborative clinical guidelines for managing localized prostate cancer which offers a framework for shared decision-making between physicians and patients.  Through this collaboration, the committee provided guidance on active surveillance and on which treatments

Radiosurgery Society Study Examines Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Outcomes in the Treatment of Lung Metastases

The Radiosurgery Society (RSS), a non-profit medical society dedicated to advancing the science and clinical practice of radiosurgery, recently published a study using data from its RSSearch Patient Registry, a multi-institutional, observational registry established to standardize data collection from patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). The study, titled “Lung

Scientists Find New Gene Tool for Predicting Course of Prostate Cancer

A recent research paper in Oncotarget, a weekly peer-reviewed open access medical journal covering research on all aspects of oncology, reported that researchers from UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute and Roswell Park Cancer Institute have discovered a possible new tool for predicting whether prostate cancer will reoccur following surgery based on the expression patterns of

Two Illinois CyberKnife Physicians Receive Top Doctor Honors

Arica Hirsch, M.D., Medical Director, and James Ruffer, M.D., Radiation Oncologist, at Illinois CyberKnife, have been named two of Chicago’s Top Cancer Doctors by Chicago magazine. The annual list of Chicago’s top doctors was announced in the January 2017 issue of the publication. The winners, who are chosen by their peers in an extensive survey

A Simple Screening May Save Your Life

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the number one cancer killer for both men and women in the United States.  Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Even with these high statistics, we are at a pivotal

Dine and Dash

Illinois CyberKnife recently celebrated our five year anniversary at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital with a Dine & Dash Open House. The event, held at Illinois CyberKnife on Monday, October 24, from 5 – 7 p.m., was an opportunity for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and other clinical staff to tour our center, meet our team members,

Stereotactic Radiosurgery May Be Best for Patients with Metastatic Brain Tumors

A recent study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, an international peer-reviewed medical journal, found that patients with three or fewer metastatic brain tumors who received treatment with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) had less cognitive deterioration three months after treatment than patients who received SRS combined with whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT).  For

Shorter Radiation Regimen Gets Same Results as Conventional Treatment

Researchers at the 2016 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium reported that a recent 2016 study found that prostate cancer radiation regimen that delivers less radiation over a shorter period of time still provides equivalent oncologic control for low-risk patients as does conventional radiation schemes.  For the study, published last month in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s

Managing Cancer as a Chronic Illness

June is National Cancer Survivor Month.  It is a month dedicated to celebrating and recognizing those who have survived cancer, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community.     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading national public health

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Shows 98 Percent Prostate Cancer Cure

According to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, a five-year study shows that stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) offers a higher cure rate for prostate cancer than more traditional approaches.  The study, the first trial to publish five-year results from SBRT treatment for prostate cancer, found a 98.6 percent

Study Found Proteins in Urine Can Indicate Pancreatic Cancer

According to a recent study, published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, researchers have found three proteins in urine that indicate early stage pancreatic cancer.  For the study, researchers analyzed 488 urine samples, including 192 from patients with pancreatic cancer, 92 from patients with chronic pancreatitis, and 87

Treating Pancreatic Cancer with CyberKnife Technology

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer, pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers.  It is also one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved

Prostate Cancer Treated More Aggressively in the City

According to a recent study published in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, urban men with localized prostate cancer may be more likely to get surgery or radiation than their rural peers.  Men had 23 percent higher odds of getting these aggressive treatments when they lived in densely populated U.S. counties than if they

Do These Three Things to Help Prevent Cancer

If your New Year’s resolution to get fit and healthy is already losing steam, February, which is National Cancer Prevention Month, is a great time to give yourself a second chance.  Renew your efforts to make healthier choices by learning what you can do to help reduce your cancer risk.  The Centers for Disease Control

Prostate Patient Testimonial: JT's story

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in African-American men.  According to the American Cancer Society, about one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. John (JT) Newton was the one in seven.  The 59-year-old Illinois resident was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s.  Mr. Newton underwent

CyberKnife Treatment Helps Prostate Cancer Patient

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is observed every September in the United States by health experts and advocates, and individuals concerned with men’s prostate health.  Designating a month for the disease serves the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of prostate health and screenings, educating about

Illinois CyberKnife Proudly Supports the Radiosurgical Research Institute

The Radiosurgical Research Institute (RRI), a 501c3 public charity, is the only independent medical research organization committed to improving the outcomes of cancer patients with radiosurgery.  Its mission is to advance radiosurgery as a cancer treatment through innovation, education, and quality research in collaboration with treatment centers around the world.   Before RRI, radiosurgical treatment

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® Supports SBRT for Prostate Cancer

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recently updated their patient guide to support stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for prostate cancer.  The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of 26 of the world’s leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of care for patients with cancer.   NCCN aims

Common CyberKnife Patient Questions

Read below for an overview of common CyberKnife® questions to learn more about the treatment. CyberKnife can treat brain tumors, lung tumors, prostate cancer, metastatic and recurrent cancer, and other types of cancerous and non-cancerous conditions. This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It

Men’s Health Week: ACS 2015 Prostate Cancer Stats

Celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father’s Day, Men’s Health Week aims to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men. Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. It’s been reported that about 1 in

Insurance Policy Update: Humana® Now Covers SBRT for Prostate Cancer

Humana recently announced it has updated its position on stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for prostate cancer.  Their coverage policy now covers SBRT treatment for early and intermediate stage prostate cancer. An announcement from the CyberKnife Coalition (CKC) stated “The CyberKnife Coalition is pleased to announce that effective May 28, 2015 early stage prostate cancer

Explaining Oligometastases and SBRT Benefits

According to a study presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) offers unique benefits to patients with advanced oligometastatic lung cancer. Oligometastasis is a category of metastatic cancer, which occurs when cancer cells break away from a primary tumor site and spread to

Research Study: Cancer Causing Chemicals in Smokeless Tobacco Products

According to a recent study published in Cancer Prevention Research, researchers found that higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco products led to greater exposure to various carcinogens. The study reported that the majority of smokeless tobacco consumers in the U.S. are unaware of the levels of cancer-causing chemicals in their smokeless tobacco products.

Physician Profiles: Get to Know Medical Director Dr. Arica Hirsch

Illinois CyberKnife medical director, Dr. Arica Hirsch, is board-certified in Radiation Oncology and primarily practices at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, our center’s hospital partner. She has expertise in the treatment of prostate, gynecologic, lymphoma, lung gastrointestinal, head & neck, and brain malignancies. Read more about Dr. Hirsch’s experience and care philosophy below. This is not

National Women’s Health Week: 2015 ACS Women’s Cancer Statistics

The 16th annual National Women’s Health Week is celebrated May 10-16, with the goal of empowering women to make their health a priority. This week also serves as a time to help inform women of critical steps they can take to improve their health. Breast and lung cancer are among the cancers that most often

Brain Tumor Awareness Month: Resources for Education

During Brain Tumor Awareness Month in May, many people and organizations across the nation focus on spreading awareness about brain tumors through community-powered education and providing new opportunities to get involved. The following organizations provide numerous resources for brain tumor patients and their loved ones, including general information about brain tumors, extensive research and studies,

Research Study: Cancer Patients Prefer Care Plans with Their Input

JAMA Oncology recently published a new study that suggests cancer patients who allow their doctors to make every treatment decision are less likely to rate their care as excellent in comparison to those patients who actively participate in their medical decisions. Dr. Kenneth Kehl in Texas conducted the study entitled “Association of Actual and Preferred

Patient Education: National Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week

Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week 2015 is celebrated April 12-18 across the nation. The weeklong series of events promoting education and awareness of oral, head and neck cancer is organized through the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. The week will be followed by a day of free screenings across the country that will

Neurological Disease Treatment: An Overview of Recent CyberKnife Studies

Two recent studies presented at the annual meeting of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS) reinforced the benefits of using CyberKnife® radiosurgery to treat various neurological diseases. Dr. Alfredo Conti, a neurosurgeon, led the first study. Dr. Conti used CyberKnife to treat perioptic meningiomas, a type of benign brain tumor that arises from the

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

Though lung cancer is among the most common cancers, diagnosing lung cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable remains a focus for doctors and other healthcare providers. Arriving at a lung cancer diagnosis is different for each patient, but tests are often based on factors such as your medical history, symptoms and a

Illinois 2015 Cancer Statistics: Brain Tumors

Each year, the American Cancer Society releases updated facts and figures about the forecast of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, it has been reported that the cancer death rate has been greatly reduced in the past 20 years thanks to early detection and cancer prevention methods. At Illinois CyberKnife, our primary cancers treated include tumors

Research Study: Early Detection with Head, Neck and Lung Cancer Screenings

The University of Pittsburgh recently released a study showing that screening for head and neck cancer in addition to lung cancer for eligible candidates could improve early detection and survival rates. The study analyzed records of more than 3,500 people enrolled in a lung screening program to determine if these participants had a higher chance

Metastatic Cancer: How Does Cancer Spread?

The spread of cancer is often unpredictable. Though doctors may not be able to explain why or when cancer may spread, there are some indications that explain how cancer can spread. Most cancer cells travel through the blood or lymph nodes and once settled can reproduce, but where a cancer starts can play a role

Cancer Terms to Know: Local Control

After receiving a cancer diagnosis, you or a loved one may hear a number of unfamiliar terms associated with your care plan and the treatment options available to you. At Illinois CyberKnife, we work hard to carefully educate our patients on all the new information they receive before, during and after treatment to ensure patients

Cancer Prevention Month: Lung Cancer Screening Programs on the Rise

February is honored as National Cancer Prevention Month, a period focused on understanding the best methods to prevent cancer, such as adopting a healthy lifestyle and considering cancer screenings. In recent years, lung CT scans have continued to gain support as one of the key approaches to early detection for those at high risk for

Video: Prostate Cancer Patient Testimonial

Illinois CyberKnife treats prostate cancer patients with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using CyberKnife® technology. Watch the video below to see a testimonial from CyberKnife patient Vincent, as he shares his treatment experience for his prostate cancer.  This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team.

February 4 is World Cancer Day

With a goal of raising awareness of cancer, prevention methods and treatment options, February 4 is recognized annually as World Cancer Day. Health organizations and cancer societies around the globe honor this day through community events and localized initiatives aimed at mobilizing support and raising funds for the fight against cancer. If you or a

Illinois CyberKnife in the News: Researching Liver Metastases

In the January issue of DOTMed News, Illinois CyberKnife was among the CyberKnife® centers within the Alliance Oncology network to be featured for its innovative liver treatment protocol. Read our full feature here. This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help

Recurrent Cancer: Early Detection

When cancer is in partial or complete remission, an important aspect of you or a loved ones ongoing care is monitoring for a cancer recurrence. Each recurrent cancer case is different, but cancer can return in either the original site or in another location in the body as a result of metastasis. Here are a

Options for Treating Recurrent Cancer

A cancer recurrence can happen when a tumor appears in the same primary location that was initially treated during a first-time diagnosis. In these cases, the tissue and area surrounding the tumor can be more sensitive requiring treatment options that will have the ability to target a new or previously treated area with radiation while

A Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: Why Speaking to a Radiation Oncologist is Important

Patients diagnosed with prostate cancer are often encouraged to seek the opinion of multiple specialists. A urologist typically diagnoses prostate cancer and recommends treatment options. Perspectives from medical, surgical and radiation oncologists are also important and can provide patients with a thorough understanding of their options. Getting a second opinion can offer peace of mind

Meet Our Staff: Illinois CyberKnife Medical Physicist

At Illinois CyberKnife, our multidisciplinary treatment approach offers patients the opportunity to receive a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan best suited for their needs and diagnosis. A medical physicist is a key member of the Illinois CyberKnife clinical team. Our chief medical physicist, David Park, is responsible for monitoring radiation dosages prescribed by the patient’s

Top 5 Benefits of CyberKnife

For patients seeking a noninvasive treatment option, Illinois CyberKnife offers a specialized form of radiation therapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy. Patients are treated non-surgically with the CyberKnife® system, which precisely focuses and delivers high-dose radiation to tumors, while compensating and correcting for movement. Treatment with CyberKnife offers many benefits for patients who may be

Advantages of Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Spinal Tumors

For patients with metastatic cancer, the spine is often one of the most common places cancer can spread. Tumors of the spine can be particularly sensitive and can compress nerves or weaken vertebral structures. Due to the proximity to critical anatomy like the spinal cord, patients may request or require a nonsurgical treatment option. Illinois

Illinois CyberKnife Honors 20th Anniversary of CyberKnife

Illinois CyberKnife is proud to commemorate the 20th anniversary of CyberKnife® technology this year. Developed in 1994 at Stanford by Dr. John Adler, the concept was conceived with the goal of treating tumors throughout the body with radiosurgery, a treatment that at the time was restricted to head and neck tumors. Key milestones: The prototype

CyberKnife Treatment Capabilities for Recurrent Cancer

As cancer treatment technologies evolve, doctors are finding more ways to reduce treatment times and side effects for patients seeking a low impact on quality of life during their cancer treatment. At Illinois CyberKnife, physicians accomplish this by collaborating with doctors from different specialties on treating primary and recurrent cancers. Patients with recurrent cancer often

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Pairing Chemotherapy and SBRT

November is honored as Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a national campaign dedicated to raising awareness and funds for lung cancer research. At Illinois CyberKnife, our center is honoring this month by increasing understanding of the latest lung cancer treatment options. As cancer treatment has advanced, physicians are approaching treatment planning with a comprehensive perspective. One way

Illinois CyberKnife Celebrates Three Years of Cancer Care

This month marks three years of cancer care at Illinois CyberKnife as a partner of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. Since opening in 2011, our center has offered stereotactic radiosurgery to treat patients with benign and malignant tumors while contributing to the growing body of clinical research supporting CyberKnife®. Below are a few highlights from the

Differences in Radiation Exposure: SBRT vs. Conventional Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy has long been a recommended form of cancer treatment for patients seeking a noninvasive option and a reduced recovery period. As cancer care technology has evolved, physicians have been able to offer patients a variety of radiation treatments specifically catered to their needs. While all similar in their general approach, the level of

National Liver Cancer Awareness Month: CyberKnife Liver Protocol

October is recognized as National Liver Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer. In an effort to increase clinical research about the disease and its treatment options, Illinois CyberKnife has developed a new treatment protocol that offers hope for patients suffering from a form of cancer

Metastatic Breast Cancer: CyberKnife for Brain and Lung Lesions

The American Cancer Society estimates 9,230 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Illinois this year, some of which may also be facing the spread of the disease to other organs. Patients with metastatic breast cancer often require a secondary or adjuvant treatment option for tumors that have spread to other parts of the

Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day: Know the Symptoms

National Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day is honored on October 7 each year to raise awareness of the lesser known, but debilitating nerve disorder. Trigeminal neuralgia occurs when a blood vessel compresses the fifth cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve. Often misdiagnosed as a dental problem, patients may undergo root canals or other procedures in hopes of

Pairing Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy with other Treatments

As cancer care has evolved, many physicians approach treatment planning with a comprehensive perspective. This well-rounded method has opened the door for many patients, particularly those with metastatic diseases, to receive multiple forms of treatment to alleviate side effects, reduce treatment time or improve overall quality of life. Metastatic disease occurs when a cancer spreads

Patient Resources: American Liver Foundation

Founded by the Association for the Study of Liver Disease, the American Liver Foundation aims to advocate for research and education for prevention, treatment and cure of liver diseases. The organization offers a number of resources to families and patients including a helpline, support groups and guides and a drug discount card. The Great Lakes-Illinois

Metastatic Liver Cancer Treatment

Many patients with liver cancer typically don’t show symptoms until the disease is beyond the primary stage and the cancer has advanced and spread to other parts of the body. When this occurs, tumors in secondary sites are known as metastatic liver cancer. The most common site for liver metastasis is the lungs. Illinois CyberKnife

Presentation: Explaining Liver Cancer

The liver is among the most vital organs in the body, and receiving a liver cancer diagnosis can be frightening and confusing. If you or a loved one is dealing with liver cancer, view the presentation below for an overview of the disease and treatment options.   This is not intended as medical advice to

Illinois CyberKnife Treatment Protocol for Liver Cancer Metastases

Long considered incurable, liver metastasis treatment has typically focused on palliative care, but Illinois CyberKnife is working to change that. Overseen by Medical Director Dr. Arica Hirsch, Illinois CyberKnife’s clinical team developed a liver metastasis treatment protocol based on recent studies that show aggressive, local treatment can extend survival for certain patients. Illinois CyberKnife treats

Treatment Approach: CyberKnife as a Boost to Chemotherapy

As cancer care evolves, doctors are combining the use of traditional treatment options with more recent methods to reduce overall treatment time, side effects and improve quality of life for patients. This strategy has become particularly important for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Physicians often turn to chemotherapy when a patient’s cancer cells are found to have

Wellpoint Anthem Updates Policy to Include Coverage of SBRT for Prostate Cancer

Wellpoint Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the second largest commercial payer in the United States, recently announced that it has updated its SRS/SBRT policy to cover treatment for early stage prostate cancer. Stereotactic body radiation therapy, or SBRT, is a powerful, noninvasive treatment approach that targets radiation beams to match the size and shape of

Liver Cancer Treatment Options

As the second-most common cancer in both men and women, lung cancer is responsible for the majority of cancer-related deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 160,000 people will lose their battle with lung cancer this year, accounting for more victims than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. In recognition of National Lung

Benefits of SBRT for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is known universally to be one of the most common diagnoses for American women today, but what many may be unaware of is the potential for recurring or metastatic breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year. In some cases,

Liver Cancer Treatment: Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

As the second-most common cancer in both men and women, lung cancer is responsible for the majority of cancer-related deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 160,000 people will lose their battle with lung cancer this year, accounting for more victims than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. In recognition of National Lung

Stages of Liver Cancer

The stage of a cancer diagnosis is the most important factor in determining a treatment plan. Though there are many staging systems used for liver cancer worldwide, one of the most common ones is the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) Staging System. The system bases staging on whether the cancer has spread, function of the

The Emotional Side Effects of Cancer

Patients who have received a cancer diagnosis experience a range of emotions before, during and after treatment including anxiety, fear or depression. At Illinois CyberKnife, the CyberKnife® nurse navigator works with you and your loved ones during each appointment to answer questions including emotional concerns you may be having. Work toward an open and honest

Disease Spotlight: What You Need to Know About Liver Cancer

Though the liver is required daily to perform vital digestive processes, symptoms of liver cancer can be difficult to detect until the disease has reached an advanced stage. According to the American Liver Foundation, approximately 30,000 Americans are expected to receive a liver cancer diagnosis this year. Read on to learn more about the disease:

Smoking Cessation: Tools to Help You Quit

Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it’s never too late to start making the transition to a healthier lifestyle. Use these helpful tools and resources to take the first step. Talk to your doctor about nicotine-release products – Nicotine products such as patches or gums can greatly improve efforts to quit smoking when applied correctly.

What You Need to Know About Lung Cancer Detection

Lung cancer is among the toughest cancers to diagnose early because of its non-specific symptoms and a widely accepted screening process has not been adopted yet. The purpose of lung cancer screening is to find the disease at an early stage, before symptoms appear, making the chances for successful treatment greater. Screening is recommended for

Illinois CyberKnife Sponsors American Lung Association Healthy Lung Expo

Illinois CyberKnife is a proud sponsor of the American Lung Association’s annual Healthy Lung Expo. The event is designed for patients and healthcare professionals to learn more about the latest trends, resources and research surrounding chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma and lung cancer. This year’s sessions included information on lung cancer screenings, “Ask the

Get to Know: Illinois CyberKnife Medical Director Dr. Arica Hirsch

Medical director Dr. Arica Hirsch’s approach to patient care is a blend of understanding a patient’s diagnosis and medical needs, as well as their values and philosophies of health. She has served as Illinois CyberKnife’s Medical Director shortly after the center opened. Dr. Hirsch continues to seek opportunities to advance the use of CyberKnife® technology in

American Cancer Society 2014 Facts and Figures

Each year, the American Cancer Society releases its facts and figures detailing the prevalence of cancer in the United States. Reviewing this information is a great way to understand your estimated risk of a cancer diagnosis as well as symptoms, risk factors and early detection methods. Check out our presentation below for an overview of

Video: CyberKnife Treatment Overview for Lung Cancer

For lung cancer patients, CyberKnife® can be an alternative option for those with inoperable tumors or those seeking a nonsurgical treatment. CyberKnife provides a noninvasive treatment called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) that treats tumors within five treatment sessions. To learn more about how CyberKnife treats lung tumors, watch the overview video below. This is

Treatment Comparison: Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy vs. Proton Therapy

With several treatment options available for cancer, it can be tough to distinguish the differences between treatment options recommended for your diagnosis. Stereotactic body radiation therapy and proton therapy are treatment options for several types of cancer including prostate cancer and brain cancer. However, the technologies used to deliver these treatments differ in duration of

USPSTF Makes Final Recommendation for Lung Cancer CT Scan

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released its finalized recommendation in favor of CT lung cancer screening for long-term smokers. The organization recommends annual lung cancer screenings for adults between the ages of 55 to 80 who have a 30-year history of smoking at least a pack a day and who currently smoke

American Cancer Society 2014 Lung Cancer Statistics

Each year the American Cancer Society releases their facts and figures research detailing expected incidence rates, death rates and disease information. Below are the key statistics for lung cancer this year: Estimated Number of New Lung Cancer Cases, US 2014:  Respiratory system: 242,550  Lung & bronchus: 224,210 (13% of all cancer diagnoses) Estimated Number of

Illinois CyberKnife Team Develops Liver Cancer Study Protocol

At Illinois CyberKnife, our physicians are dedicated to ongoing clinical research efforts demonstrating the effects of stereotactic radiosurgery for the treatment of tumors throughout the body. Illinois CyberKnife physicians Drs. Arica Hirsch, James Ruffer, Patrick Sweeney and Majid Mohiuddin recently published a protocol for patients with colorectal cancer and limited liver metastasis. The protocol outlines

World Health Day: 5 Ways to Keep Your Lungs Healthy

April 7, 2014 is celebrated as World Health Day, a day dedicated to tackling worldwide health issues. In honor of this holiday, our center would like to highlight one of the most vital organs in your body- your lungs. Maintaining lung health is among the best ways to reduce your risk of illness and keep

ACS Shares 2014 Cancer Research Statistics

The American Cancer Society recently released its 2014 Cancer Facts and Figures detailing the latest on diagnoses trends and five-year relative survival rates. Below are some key takeaways from the latest research: The five-year relative survival rate for all cancers diagnosed between 2003 and 2009 has improved from 49 percent to 68 percent, reflecting progress

Video: Illinois CyberKnife Radiation Oncologist Dr. James Ruffer

Illinois CyberKnife radiation oncologist Dr. James Ruffer is a valued member of our experienced physician staff. He is the medical director of radiation oncology and chairman of the cancer committee at his primary practice site, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. Watch the video below to hear more from Dr. Ruffer on his career and what he

Event Recap: Fight for Air Climb Chicago

The Fight for Air Climb at Presidential Towers is an annual fundraising event for the American Lung Association. The “vertical road race” is a grand total of 180 floors and 2,340 steps. This year’s event has a fundraising goal of $350,000 and included participants from across Chicago including WGN-TV and US Bank. Our center has participated

Patient Resources: Illinois CyberKnife's YouTube Channel

Our center works to provide as many resources as possible to our patients and their doctors. Our YouTube channel houses several videos to introduce you to the CyberKnife® treatment process including testimonials from our patients, advantages of stereotactic radiosurgery and how to prepare for treatment. Check out our YouTube channel for more videos like the one

Patient Safety Awareness Week: CyberKnife safety and quality measures

This week is Patient Safety Awareness Week. Hosted by the National Patient Safety Foundation, the week focuses on education and awareness of health care safety. The organization hosts webinars, programs and events for patients and health care professionals highlighting every aspect of patient safety from alarm system management to free reading materials. Our center is dedicated

Predictions on Chicago Weather

Brace yourselves Chicagoans! New weather predictions from climate experts around the state have the next 30 years looking pretty extreme. Taking global warming trends into consideration, state climatologist Jim Angel is predicting longer, dangerously hot summers and much shorter winters with a lot more rain and far less snow. To read more about Chicago’s 30-year

Treatment Comparison: SBRT v. Conventional Radiation Therapy

Our center uses stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to treat a variety of tumors in practically any area of the body. But when compared to conventional radiation therapy do you know the most important differences? Here are some key distinctions between the two treatments: Number of radiation beams – SBRT delivers more than 100 radiation

Patient Playlist: Tunes for Treatment

A big part of the patient experience at our center is the music. During treatment, patients lie on a treatment table while the CyberKnife’s robotic arm moves around them delivering targeted radiation to their tumor. During this process, patients can choose to listen to their own music or choose a station from Pandora. Not only

Hear from Our Radiation Oncologists: Dr. Majid Mohiuddin

Dr. Majid Mohiuddin is a graduate of Brown University Medical School and completed his radiation oncology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. As a third generation oncologist, Dr. Mohiuddin’s biggest inspiration is the firsthand experiences of those he has treated. Here more from Dr. Mohiuddin in this video below: This is not intended

Park Ridge-Opoly Now Available

Park Ridge now has it’s own version of the classic Monopoly board game! The game features City Hall, the Main South High School red hawk, the Main East High School blue demon and Hodges Park. We were even glad to see a photo of our hospital partner, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital! We can’t wait to

For Physicians: A Guide to CyberKnife Treatment

For physicians considering referring a patient to our center for CyberKnife® treatment, view our presentation for more information on the technology.     This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with

Patient Resources: Questions to Ask Your Doc

Asking questions and reviewing your medical history with a doctor can help you make informed decisions and helps your doctor administer the quality of care you need. Illinois CyberKnife encourages our patients to prepare a list of questions before their consultation. Here are a few sample questions you may want to ask your doctor: What

Illinois CyberKnife recognizes Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month Lung Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated each November to raise awareness for the second most common cancer in both men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates 9,270 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in Illinois this year. Below are a few ways to support the fight against lung

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

Each October, the breast cancer community gathers to raise awareness and garner support for the fight against breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates 232,340 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2013 and one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 13 is dedicated

Profiles in CyberKnife Treatment: Role of the Medical Physicist

At Illinois CyberKnife, medical physicists play a key role in the patient treatment process, working closely with other members of the treatment team to support imaging, treatment planning and quality assurance testing of our CyberKnife® technology and its components. Our physics team develops a customized treatment plan that will deliver the radiation dose prescribed by

Spotlight On: American Lung Association

The American Lung Association (ALA) is a national organization dedicated to preventing lung disease and improving lung health through education, advocacy and research. The ALA’s mission is “to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.” The organization works to combat tobacco use, improve air quality to prevent lung disease and provide aid

Spotlight On: American Lung Association

Spotlight On: How CyberKnife Works A look at how the CyberKnife® components work together to treat tumors noninvasively. To view CyberKnife treatment overviews for different types of cancer, watch our YouTube channel.

Spotlight On: The CyberKnife Treatment Process

In the fight against cancer, CyberKnife® provides an important alternative for patients seeking a nonsurgical option with shorter treatment times, fewer side effects and a more rapid recovery. Our center uses a team approach to patient care in which physicians and other team members collaborate to develop a customized CyberKnife treatment plan to best suit each patient’s

Spotlight On: The Stages of Cancer

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, determining the stage of the cancer is an important next step. Staging describes the extent or severity of a person’s cancer, which helps doctors determine the best course of treatment and a prognosis. Common Staging Procedures and Types: The most common staging is TNM, which designates three aspects of

Profiles in CyberKnife Treatment: Role of the CyberKnife Nurse

Illinois CyberKnife Staff Attends the ACS Discovery Ball Our team was among the more than 800 people who attended the seventh annual American Cancer Society Discovery Ball. The Discovery Ball is one of the premier annual events hosted by the cancer society to support the mission of saving lives and funding cancer research. We and

Hospital Partner Spotlight: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Illinois CyberKnife’s hospital partner, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, is a 638-bed teaching, research and referral hospital, a Level I trauma center and one of the largest hospitals in the Chicago area. Lutheran General Hospital is part of Oak Brook-based Advocate Health Care, which is the largest health care provider in Illinois and one of the

Spotlight On: Types of Cancer Treatment

When facing a cancer diagnosis, patients should consult their doctor to learn more about the best treatment for their diagnosis. Consultation is a key part of making an informed treatment decision given the impact different forms of treatment can have on a patient’s quality of life. There are several different treatment options available depending on

Illinois CyberKnife Releases Annual Brain Tumor Treatment Numbers

Illinois CyberKnife has treated more than 70 brain tumor cases since opening in November 2011, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the center’s patients last year. Illinois CyberKnife treats brain tumors with an advanced procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) using CyberKnife® technology. During treatment, precisely targeted, high-dose radiation beams are delivered to the tumor from

Illinois CyberKnife Medical Director Presents at Local Physician Group Meeting

Illinois Cyberknife medical director Dr. Arica Hirsch spoke at the CyberKnife Dinner Event, hosted by the Women’s Physician Group of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, the center’s hospital partner. Dr. Hirsch spoke to the group about the benefits of cancer treatment using CyberKnife® technology and led a tour of the CyberKnife suite. Thanks to everyone who attended!

Spotlight on: Brain Tumors

According to the American Cancer Society, brain tumors account for one in every 100 cancers diagnosed annually in the United States. CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery is an advanced treatment option for brain tumors, providing an important nonsurgical alternative for patients. Below is a brief overview of brain tumors, incidence rates and treatment options. The information provided

Lung Cancer Awareness Important for Prevention, Early Detection

As the second-most common cancer in both men and women, lung cancer is responsible for the majority of cancer-related deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 160,000 people will lose their battle with lung cancer this year, accounting for more victims than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. In recognition of National Lung

Breast Cancer Awareness: Treatment Options When Breast Cancer Spreads

As the second-most diagnosed cancer in women in the U.S., it’s tough to find someone who hasn’t been impacted by breast cancer in some way. The American Cancer Society estimates 230,480 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year. When breast cancer is discovered after it starts causing symptoms, the cancer is likely

Prostate Cancer Treatment Advancements Improve Survivorship

One in nine men will face a prostate cancer diagnosis in his lifetime, totaling to 174,650 new cases this year as estimated by the American Cancer Society. Fortunately, advancements in cancer treatment have allowed nearly 3 million men to count themselves as survivors of the pervasive disease. September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and

Radiation Oncologist Joins Illinois Cyberknife Physician Team

Illinois CyberKnife has added Dr. Majid Mohiuddin to its staff of physicians certified to treat patients with CyberKnife, a noninvasive full-body cancer treatment system. A board-certified radiation oncologist, Mohiuddin is a member of several professional organizations including the American College of Radiology and has expertise in treatment of lung and prostate cancers. He holds a

Illinois CyberKnife Shares Men's Health Awareness Tips

June is dedicated to raising awareness and prevention of the preventable health problems men face while encouraging men to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease or injury. One of the common health threats to men is prostate cancer. In 2012, the American Cancer Society estimates about 241,740 new diagnoses of prostate cancer.

Illinois CyberKnife hosts Continuing Medical Education Event

Illinois CyberKnife was honored to host inventor of the CyberKnife, Dr. John Adler, as the guest speaker at a Continuing Medical Education event for physicians in the area. Dr. Adler, endowed professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, spoke about CyberKnife treatment for various clinical indications.  Thanks to all those who attended!  

Illinois CyberKnife focuses on education during Brain Tumor Awareness Month

May marks the recognition of National Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Since its establishment in 2008, community organizations and support groups celebrate this month with increased efforts to raise awareness of brain tumors, increase funding for research and educate the public on symptoms and treatment options. The Central Brain Tumor Registry estimates 66,290 new cases of

Illinois CyberKnife's Partner Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Wins Community Impact Project Award

Illinois CyberKnife extends congratulations to our hospital partner, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital! The hospital will be the recipient of a grant to provide an Artist-in-Residence Program for pediatric and adult oncology patients from the LIVESTRONG® Community Impact Project. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital received more than 450,000 votes to place above more than 200 other competitors.

Illinois CyberKnife Highlights Healthy Living for National Cancer Control Month

In support of April as Cancer Control Month, Illinois CyberKnife is encouraging local residents to use a proactive approach to a healthy lifestyle. Cancer Control Month highlights the progress in fighting cancer and increases awareness of who is at risk. The initiatives of Cancer Control Month seek to encourage healthy lifestyles, promote cancer screening, increase

Illinois CyberKnife Co-sponsors Fight for Air Climb

Illinois CyberKnife co-sponsored the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb in OakBrook Terrace February 12. This fundraising event encourages fitness among participants through a “vertical road race,” of climbing multiple steps. Climbers took to OakBrook Terrace Tower to climb 31 floors and 680 steps to the top of the suburbs’ tallest building.    

Illinois CyberKnife Celebrates Patient Safety Awareness Week

In recognition of Patient Safety Awareness Week, Illinois CyberKnife at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital joins a nation-wide effort to encourage engagement of patients, families and the community by promoting the importance of being an active participant in the health care delivery process.