For 43-year-old Jacqueline Naas traveling two hours round trip to receive state-of-the-art prone breast radiation therapy at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital was worth every minute.
Since this specialized radiation therapy was not available near Naas’ home in Ogelsby, she had to decide if she could handle the time consuming commute to get her 33 treatments.
“My husband, Roger, and I agreed that if I can live at least 20 more years, than it’s worth our time to drive an hour each way five days a week, in order to have prone therapy because this method protects my heart and lungs from any radiation exposure,” said Naas.
The Naas’ feel they made the right choice to seek treatment at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.
“Everyone has been awesome,” exclaims Jacqueline. “Dr. Anne McCall patiently answered all of our questions and gave us a packet of information that has been such a helpful resource. And the radiation therapists were all very positive and thoughtful. They had the softest touch when they would move me and were always so concerned that I wasn’t in any pain.”
Naas had no family history of breast cancer. Two years prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer, she had cystic fibroids removed from her breast. All seemed fine until a tumor was found during her mammogram. In December 2014, she had surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. During this time, three additional tumors were discovered underneath her nipple and were removed as well. After having four chemotherapy treatments, her care plan called for radiation therapy.
Since Jacqueline was a possible candidate for prone therapy, her physician suggested she go see Dr. McCall at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross. Dr. McCall has experience with the state-of-the-art prone breast radiation technique that is offered on the Silver Cross Hospital campus, as well as at the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus.
“Prone breast radiation treatment is a wonderful technique for the right patient,” said Dr. McCall, M.D., Medical Director for Radiation Oncology for the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “And Jacqueline’s clinical situation made it appropriate to treat her using the prone radiation technique.”
Dr. McCall adds, “Prone therapy is especially beneficial for women with larger breasts and a tumor on the left side that hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes. The dose of radiation is uniform with less skin reaction. There is minimal exposure to the heart and lungs. This lowers the risk of complications, such as future heart disease and lung damage.”
How Does Prone Breast Radiation Treatment Work?
Prone breast radiation therapy is a unique approach to treating breast cancer. Radiation is administered on a specially-designed table with a breast board to help the woman lie more comfortably in the prone position, on her stomach, with the breast hanging down from the body for radiation therapy.
“As a patient you really have to be motivated to lay on your stomach for treatments, but I really feel Jacqueline’s determination to get well contributed to her ability to do so,” said Dr. McCall.
Benefits to Prone Treatment
There are many benefits to receiving radiation in the prone position in addition to minimizing radiation exposure to the surrounding organs and tissues. The radiation dose in the prone position is the same as when the patient lies flat on her back for radiation treatment.
“By using the prone technique, the breast falls away from the chest-wall making it easier for radiation therapists to target the tumor more precisely with the radiation,” said Kimberly De Nardo, Lead Radiation Therapist for the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross.
“The goal with every treatment plan is to protect the healthy tissue from radiation,” Kimberly said. “As with every patient, the planning phase was critical in creating Jacqueline’s personal prone treatment plan.”
During the planning phase, Radiation Therapists performed a CT scan which is used by the physics team to delineate the target and organs at risk such as the heart and lungs. “Then the physics team and Dr. McCall develop the best treatment plan,” Kimberly said. “By using the most advanced TrueBeam new-generation linear accelerator system, we were able to deliver precisely targeted radiation therapy to provide the best results for Jacqueline.”
Kimberly brought over 14 years of experience working with cancer patients at the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus to her new role on the Silver Cross campus.
“Our job is to make every patient’s treatment and experience easier,” said De Nardo. “Whether we hold their hand or simply listen to their concerns, we are there to offer them support. Patients shouldn’t decide that it’s easier to give up instead of fighting with all the advanced cancer care treatment options available, like those offered here at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross.”
Comforting Advice to Others
“I would highly recommend the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross to cancer patients,” said Naas. “Overall, I had an excellent experience with everyone.”
“By coming to the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross, patients have access to the same advanced technology that is offered at the University of Chicago Medicine at Hyde Park in Chicago,” said Dr. McCall. “We are fortunate to have highly trained and experienced radiation therapists working at Silver Cross who truly make the patients’ treatment so successful.”
To see if Prone Therapy is right for you, talk with your oncologist or call 1-855-UCM-1400 to see a specialist with the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.
According to the most recent American Cancer Society statistics, the lifetime risk of a woman (living in the United States) developing cancer is approximately 1 in 3. While the numbers can be intimidating – advances in cancer detection, prevention, and treatment are being made every day. The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross is proud to participate in the process that allows these advances to reach this community. Our patients can often be treated with cutting-edge cancer treatments near their hometown.
Clinical research studies (synonymous with trial and protocol) allow us to prove that an idea is true in a controlled environment. In most cases the idea is a new drug or treatment but can also include any of the following:
- New imaging equipment that can detect abnormalities earlier
- New laboratory technology that can detect cancer cells in the blood
- More effective chemotherapy regimens (combing two or more already approved drugs for better cancer control)
- Comparing already approved regimens (to determine if one is superior or has less side effects)
- New formulations of currently approved drugs (comparing the efficacy of an oral version to an infused version)
- Collecting quality of life data (to help understand the financial, social, mental and physical burdens cancer patients face)
The process of proving an idea valid is rigorous and long. The average length of time, from drug development to FDA approval, is 14.8 years. One of the reasons this process can be so long and burdensome are the safety and quality measures each institution must commit to when a patient participates. The research staff and physician are under careful scrutiny by the sponsor and national regulatory authorities. University of Chicago Medicine is committed to this process and expanding access to the Silver Cross community.
Are you interested in learning more about the clinical trial process? How you can participate? Have questions regarding a trial that might benefit you or a loved one? Attend our upcoming lecture on Breast Cancer Clinical Trials on Thursday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center. Dr. Brooke Phillips, medical oncologist, and I will be discussing the process in a little more detail and highlighting some of the exciting research efforts that are currently ongoing. You can register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
A mammogram is an important step in taking care of yourself. The American Cancer Society recommends women age 40 and over get a mammogram every year, along with a breast exam by a doctor or nurse. And all women, no matter their age, need to let their doctor know about any changes to their breasts. Whether you’re a mammogram newbie or a veteran, the Silver Cross for Women’s Health in New Lenox,IL is making it even easier to get this important screening.
- No Order? No Problem! For your convenience, you no longer need an order from your primary care physician for your annual screening mammogram at Silver Cross. However, if you have noticed a change in your breasts or have a history of lumps or cancer, you will need to contact your physician before scheduling your mammogram. Your doctor may request specific breast images.
- Discounts at Local Businesses. It matters to Silver Cross that you take care of yourself, therefore they reward women who get their annual mammogram with valuable discounts at over 100 local businesses through their free I Matter™ program. Not a member? Sign-up today for free.
- Just $100. That’s right. For women with high deductibles/co-pays or no insurance, Silver Cross offers this special discounted price for those who call during the month of May to schedule a screening mammogram appointment. Cash, check or credit card will be accepted at the time of your screening. Insurance will not be billed.
- 3D Mammography. At the Silver Cross Center for Women’s health, patients can have a three-dimensional image of the breast for earlier detection of small breast cancers that may be hidden during digital mammography. This is especially helpful for individuals with dense breasts as it provides a greater accuracy in pinpointing size, shape and location of any abnormalities.
- Personal Attention. From the moment you arrive (and valet park) at Silver Cross, you are treated with the utmost concern. Silver Cross knows your time is valuable so their highly skilled staff will have you in and out quickly—usually within 30 minutes or less. To put your mind at ease, results are just a phone call away through a special 24-hour hotline. And if you need additional testing, Silver Cross’ dedicated nurse navigator can help you coordinate the next steps in your care. Because of this attention to detail, the Center for Women’s Health ranks in the Top 1% in the U.S. for patient satisfaction according to Press Ganey.
Don’t wait any longer. Schedule an appointment for your annual mammogram at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health by calling (815) 300-7076. Or you can request an appointment online.
Silver Cross Hospital is enhancing its diagnostic imaging capabilities with the addition of a new, state-of the-art Positron Emission Tomography/Computerized Tomography system (PET/CT). This advanced technology, which is now located inside the Hospital’s Imaging Department, offers early and highly accurate detection of cancer. A physician’s order is required, and patients can call (815) 300-7058 to schedule an appointment.
“Now that PET/CT is in-house, this allows for greater scheduling flexibility and patient scanning comfort. We are able to provide a better patient experience,” said Dr. Darius Keblinskas, Medical Director of Imaging Services at Silver Cross Hospital. Previously, patients needing a PET/CT would have their tests performed inside a mobile trailer on the hospital’s campus.
Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography or PET/CT is a medical imaging technique using a device which combines in a single gantry, both a PET scanner and a CT scanner, so that images acquired from both devices can be taken sequentially, in the same session, and combined into a single superposed image. The imaging obtained provides physicians with information about the body’s metabolic activity and exact location of disease.
PET/CT has revolutionized medical diagnosis in many fields, by adding precision of anatomic localization to functional imaging. Diagnostic imaging procedures in oncology, surgical planning, radiation therapy and cancer staging have been changing rapidly under the influence of PET-CT availability, and centers have been gradually abandoning conventional PET devices and substituting them by PET-CTs.
“For oncology patients, PET/CT is used to determine the exact location and stage of cancerous tissue and can prevent unnecessary surgery and biopsies and inappropriate treatments,” said Dr. Lawrence Schilder, Medical Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “The technology also helps us to monitor patients’ response to treatment to ensure it is working.”
For more information about PET/CT, talk with your physician.
More and more patients are choosing the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital prompting the need to expand radiation therapy services.
“Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of new patients requiring radiation therapy,” said Theresa Quinn, executive director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “And, they are appreciative of the care they receive. In fact, according to Press Ganey, we rank in the Top 1% in the nation for patient satisfaction.”
“To even better accommodate our patients, we have just installed a second TrueBeam™ linear accelerator that uses image-guided radiation therapy to safely shrink cancer cells and hard-to-reach tumors,” said Dr. Anne McCall, radiation oncologist with the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “Both hi-tech machines allow for quick and accurate high-dose treatments.
The TrueBeam system often is used to deliver intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), an advanced type of radiation treatment that conforms to the shape of the tumor. With IMRT, the radiation beam is broken up into many smaller beams that can be individually adjusted to deliver varying levels of radiation intensity. University of Chicago Medicine radiation oncologists were the first in the Chicago area to offer IMRT before bringing it to Silver Cross. Combining this advanced technique with years of experience, physicians at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital can maintain excellent cancer control rates while limiting the long-term side effects of radiation on healthy organs.
“When treating cancer, time is of the essence,” said Dr. Daniel Golden, radiation oncologist with the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “So having two linear accelerators makes it easier for patients to begin treatment even sooner.”
Every Tuesday, a group of cancer specialists meets to review and discuss breast and lung cancer patients’ medical information. They develop a recommended treatment plan which is shared with referring physicians for consideration. This saves patients valuable time meeting individually with multiple specialists who can take several weeks or even months. Instead, this multidisciplinary, collaborative approach allows patients to begin treatment within the shortest time possible.
To learn more about cancer services available close to home or to schedule an appointment with a University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center specialist at Silver Cross Hospital, call 1-855-UCM-1400 or click here.
Cancer Services available at Silver Cross Hospital
- Comprehensive cancer care for adult, gynecologic, and pediatric cancers in one convenient location
- Easy access to over 120 clinical trials
- Advanced treatment options including chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Convenient diagnostic testing including PET/CT, 3-D mammography, CT Lung screening, breast MRI, breast ultrasound stereotactic breast biopsy
- Multi-Disciplinary Breast and Lung Cancer Conferences providing a recommended treatment plan all in one day
- Procedural care unit with advanced technology including the daVinci robot and electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy
- Supportive programs for patients and families, including cancer support groups, nutritional counseling, yoga, preventative screenings and a comprehensive cancer resource center.
At just 32 years old, Dr. Matthew Endara is frequently called upon by his colleagues to help patients after a traumatic injury or illness. The young plastic and reconstructive surgeon is using his advanced training to bring the latest techniques for rebuilding limbs and muscles using the most cutting-edge techniques and technology to patients at Silver Cross Hospital. His unique approach ensures that each patient has the best opportunity for a successful outcome—regardless of how small or complex the procedure.
“I’m not afraid to use advanced techniques if they work best for the patient,” said Dr. Endara. “At the end of the day, it is really about what the patient needs to be healthy and happy.”
In the short time that Dr. Endara has been on the Silver Cross Medical Staff, he has worked closely with experts of every kind, from neurosurgeons to primary care physicians to orthopedic surgeons and oncologists. Just last month, Dr. Endara was the first surgeon in Will and Grundy counties to use the most advanced form of breast reconstruction available today—the DIEP Flap, to reconstruct a patient’s breast following a mastectomy. During this intricate surgery, Dr. Endara used the patient’s own abdominal skin and fat to reconstruct a natural, soft breast while minimizing the impact on the abdominal wall and muscles.
“Although implants are an excellent option many patients following mastectomy; when the breast is reconstructed entirely with a patient’s own tissue, the results are generally more natural and there are no concerns about problems with implants,” said Dr. Endara. “By transferring abdominal tissue using the free flap technique and preserving most or all of the rectus abdominis muscle, patients experience less pain, enjoy a faster recovery, maintain their core strength long-term, and have a lower risk of any complications over the more traditional, ‘pedicled TRAM’ flap, which uses the entire rectus muscle.”
“Consideration of reconstructive surgery is an essential component of caring for a patient with breast cancer,” said Dr. Grace K. Suh, medical oncologist with the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross and Conference and Co-Chair of the hospital’s Multi-Disciplinary Breast Conference. “We discuss every patient who has been diagnosed and consider what is the best treatment recommendation for the individual. We are fortunate to have Dr. Endara with his specialized expertise in complex reconstructive techniques. I believe that this is a unique offering to our patients.”
In addition to his extensive experience with microvascular free tissue transfer for breast reconstruction, Dr. Endara is also uniquely well-trained in lower extremity reconstruction, peripheral nerve surgery, and cosmetic surgery.
Strong Roots in the Windy City, Volunteering Far from Home
Dr. Endara was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago. After graduating from Northwestern University, he attended Feinberg School of Medicine where he earned his medical degree in 2008. There he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a professional organization that recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine. He then moved to Washington D.C. to complete a surgery internship and plastic surgery residency at Georgetown University Hospital. Since then, he has published dozens of papers in peer reviewed medical journals and presented at numerous conferences. His research into the roll that high blood sugar levels play in complications following surgical closures garnered national media attention through stories in the Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace, Yahoo News and several other online media outlets. In 2012, Dr. Endara was awarded a grant from the Curtis National Hand Center for his research on the implications of the use of leg bones for reconstruction of complex bone and cartilage defects; the results of which have been accepted for publication in The Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery.
With a deep desire to use his skills to help those less fortunate, Dr. Endara spent a good part of the last 10 years participating in medical mission trips to South and Central America. Last winter, he accompanied his father—a family practice physician, to Ecuador providing free health care and plastic surgery to 41 children in remote areas of the country.
“The importance of helping others has always been a strong part of my family values and an ideal that I have aspired to throughout my life. I feel lucky that I have been blessed with the training and talents to help those less fortunate in ways that can be truly life-changing.”
Dr. Endara recently moved back to the southwest suburbs to be closer to his family—all healthcare workers. Both his mother and sister are in the nursing field.
In August 2014, he joined the practice of Dr. Alan Chen in Joliet and couldn’t be happier. “I am very lucky to have joined such a talented and well respected surgeon as Dr. Chen and plan to follow his example of excellence in patient care. I hope to really make a difference here for many years to come.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Endara, call (815) 729-9527.
Since Theresa Orowick was 34-years-old, she was getting annual mammograms due to a history of trauma to her left breast. As time went by, she developed a false sense of security that she was fine and stopped getting mammograms. Then at age 46, she found a lump in her left breast that was diagnosed in an advanced stage of breast cancer.
“Once it was confirmed that I had breast cancer, I was so upset with myself for not continuing to get my annual mammograms,” said the Frankfort resident. “All I kept thinking was if I would have stayed vigilant and not blown-off getting my annual mammogram that maybe my breast cancer wouldn’t be in such an advanced stage.”
Fortunately, Orowick is now 13 months cancer-free, but her advice to other women is simple. “Take care of yourself and get your annual mammogram because early detection can save your life as well as help you avoid more extensive treatments if diagnosed,” states Orowick.
Once diagnosed, Orowick’s physician referred her to Dr. Brooke Phillips, medical oncologist at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross.
“Theresa’s care plan consisted of chemotherapy initially then bi-lateral mastectomy surgery, followed up with radiation and then breast reconstruction surgery,” said Brooke Phillips, M.D., “She now takes tamoxifen to prevent any cancer reoccurrence and gets monthly injections to avoid osteoporosis. We are thrilled with her outcomes and admire her passion to motivate other women to continue to get their annual mammograms.”
Orowick also saw Dr. Anne McCall, a specialist in the use of radiation therapy to treat breast cancer.
“By coming to the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross, patients have access to the same advanced technology that is offered at the University of Chicago Medicine at Hyde Park in downtown Chicago,” said Dr. McCall, M.D. “We are fortunate to have highly trained and experienced radiation therapists working at Silver Cross who truly make Theresa’s and all our patients’ treatment so successful.”
After her final surgery, Orowick had several weeks of lymphedema therapy at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross Hospital. “Theresa’s case was complex since she had an advanced stage of breast cancer and underwent both breast removal and reconstruction surgeries,” said Barbara Shoemaker, senior occupational therapist and certified lymphedema therapist with RIC at Silver Cross Hospital. “Theresa’s treatment sessions focused on education regarding lymphedema precautions, as well as massage and stretching exercises to decrease tissue tightness and improve the mobility of her arms.”
“All of the staff at both the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital was great,” said Orowick. “I had a fabulous experience! I received such thoughtful care from all of them. And because both facilities were so close to my home, my mom was able to drive me to my treatments and therapy sessions, which was less stressful than driving downtown.”
Recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer?
Silver Cross Hospital is making it easier to get advice from breast cancer experts on the next steps to take with a convenient, one-stop experience called the Multidisciplinary Breast Conference. This team meets in the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital for a Breast Conference every Tuesday morning. At the Conference, physician specialists representing general surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, plastic surgery and pathology reviews radiological images and pathology slides on state-of-the-art equipment and develops a consensus recommendation. The team documents the recommendations and a certified breast nurse navigator provides the recommendation to the patient’s doctor within 24 hours. Patients who could benefit from the Multidisciplinary Breast Conference at Silver Cross should contact their primary care physician to be referred to the Breast Conference.
Along with 2,000 men and women of all ages wearing a variety of pink apparel, the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health employees and patients participated in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K (3.1. mile) walked at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet on October 5.
“As breast health clinicians, we felt it was important to support the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk since we interact with many women daily educating them on their breast health and helping those with cancer fight the disease,” said Marci Vasiliades, Director of Imaging Services at Silver Cross Hospital. “We also wanted to help raise awareness for women to get their annual mammograms and support finding a cure for breast cancer.”
Participants in this year’s walk raised over $36,000 to help women learn the importance of early detection and treatment and eliminate breast cancer. The 15th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk brings the entire community together to celebrate breast cancer survivors, educate women about the importance of reducing their cancer risk by getting their annual mammograms, and raise funds for lifesaving research and support programs to further fight against breast cancer.
Since 1993, eight million walkers across the United States have collected more than $460 million to help fight breast cancer through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events. To date, there are 300 Strides events scheduled throughout the country. Together, we are making strides towards a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Jeffrey LaMorte Salon and Spa is offering Silver Cross I Matter members 20% off 20 amazing products in addition to your regular 5-10% off any service through December.
“At our salons, we offer only the finest available hair and beauty products,” said Kelly Glister, General Manager. “Before we choose a product for our store, we test it to ensure the ingredients are of the highest quality and that the results are nothing short of spectacular.”
Products on sale include:
Jeffrey LaMorte Brand
Keratin Therapy Shampoo
Keratin Therapy Condition
Hair Resort Spray
Green Envee Scrubs
Moroccanoil Brushes (excludes Boar Bristle Brushes)
- Frankfort: 815-469-0660
- Orland Park: 708-364-0660
- Lemont: 630-243-0660
You can either call one of the numbers above or book your appointment online. If you don’t have an I Matter card or yours has expired, you will receive one next time you come to the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health for your mammogram. And if you book your screening before the end of October, you can take advantage of the special $100 price if you choose to pay at time of service. It’s our way of rewarding you for taking care of yourself during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.