Cancer Care At NCH

Prostate Cancer

Setting the Standard for Prostate Care

At Northwest Community Healthcare, we have outstanding care for patients with prostate cancer and non-cancerous prostate conditions. As a specialty service, NCH's prostate program brings together the latest prostate cancer treatments with an outstanding team of physicians and other healthcare experts, plus a prostate nurse navigator to coordinate care and answer questions about your treatment along the way. 

These teams ensure continuity and quality of care, improved outcomes for prostate cancer and lowered risk of complications. They meet weekly to review all NCH cancer diagnosis and treatment plans —giving all of our cancer patients the benefit of ten or more second opinions. NCH's team-based approach to pancreatic cancer treatment gives you the attention and care you deserve.

The NCH Advantage


At NCH you'll find the caring environment, easy access and personalized services you expect from a community hospital prostate program with the innovative technology you would find in a teaching hospital.

We are committed to providing advanced technology to treat prostate cancer because it provides greater precision, less pain, faster recovery and a lower risk of side effects for the prostate cancer patient.

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Putting the latest medical advances in prostate care to work for you

The latest medical advances in prostate cancer care

The longer men live, the greater the likelihood that their prostate will enlarge and the greater the risk for prostate cancer. Not all enlarged prostates or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) lead to cancer. It is, however, possible for men to have both BPH and cancer.

There are no early symptoms for prostate cancer, so it is very important to have regular prostate cancer screening tests. When caught early, prostate cancer may never become life-threatening. In fact, while one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, only one man in 36 will die from the disease.

While there is no sure-fire way to prevent prostate cancer, the earlier it is detected, the better your chances are of living a long and healthy life after prostate cancer.

Diagnosing prostate problems

Current screening for prostate cancer includes a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Your personal physician can perform these tests during your annual check-up.  The latest guidelines for prostate cancer screening recommend having a conversation with your physician to decide when it's best to start screening and how often.  This conversation should take place around the age of 50 for most men. If you are at high risk, screening could be begin as early as 40. Other tests for prostate enlargement could include:

  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • Urine flow study
  • Intravenous pyelogram
  • Cystoscopy

Symptoms of BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, include:

  • A hesitant, interrupted, weak urinary stream.
  • Urgency, leaking or dribbling.
  • More frequent urination, especially at night

Prostate cancer symptoms

Prostate cancer is often diagnosed before symptoms occur.  Symptoms of prostate cancer include the following. These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions. Talk to your physician about new or bothersome symptoms.

  • Frequent urination, especially at night.
  • Inability to urinate.
  • Trouble starting or holding back the flow of urine.
  • Pain or burning when urinating.
  • Blood in urine or semen.
  • Inability to have and maintain an erection.
  • Frequent pain in lower back, hips or upper thighs.

Prostate cancer second opinion program

After the initial shock has worn off, the first thought crossing the mind of many diagnosed with prostate cancer is "What now?" Northwest Community Hospital offers a prostate cancer second opinion program that gives men diagnosed with prostate cancer an opportunity to explore the many prostate cancer treatment options available.

Through the second opinion program, our experienced prostate cancer team helps men weigh the pros and cons of the latest prostate cancer treatment options. The main goal of NCH's second opinion program is to ensure that prostate cancer patients get what they need, when they need it.

The prostate cancer second opinion experience:

  • Confirm prostate cancer diagnosis and learn about prostate cancer treatment options.
  • Appointments scheduled with urologist and radiation oncologist to discuss your prostate cancer treatment.
  • Review of medical records, history and physical by the physician.
  • Review of risks and benefits of each prostate cancer treatment option.
  • Possible further testing, if necessary.
  • Most insurance does cover second opinions; check with your insurance provider.

To request a second opinion, call our prostate nurse navigator at 847-618-6572, who will work to ensure your appointment is scheduled within a timely manner of your initial request.

Regular screenings are key in finding prostate cancer early

Your doctor will use two methods. Men should have a conversation with their physician about screening starting at age 50—those at higher risk should begin at age 40.

  • Feeling for an unusual lump by means of a digital rectal exam (DRE)
  • Testing your blood for prostate specific antigen (PSA)

Are you at risk for prostate cancer?

Age—The longer men live, the greater their chances of developing prostate cancer. Up to 60% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men aged 65 and older. (ACS Facts and Figures 2014)

Family history—Genetic studies suggest that strong family predisposition might be responsible for 5-10% of prostate cancers. If you have a first-degree relatives who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially at a younger age, your risk may be higher.

Race—Prostate cancer occurs about 60% more often in African American men and Caribbean men of African descent than in Caucasian or Northern European men.

Physical activity—Staying physically active and keeping a healthy weight may reduce your risk of developing signs of prostate cancer.

Diet - Some studies suggest that a diet high in processed meat or dairy foods may be a risk factor, obesity appears to increase the risk of more aggressive prostate cancer.

CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System (SRS)
CyberKnife<sup>®</sup> Stereotactic Radiosurgery System (SRS)

CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System (SRS)

A non-invasive alternative to surgery for prostate cancer. It uses an extremely accurate, computer-controlled robotic arm to target prostate cancer tumors with high-dose radiation. Treatment duration is shorter than traditional radiation therapies for prostate cancer. We were the first hospital in the Chicago area to offer this groundbreaking technology.

da Vinci<sup>®</sup> Robotic Surgical System

da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System

The preferred surgical approach for treatment of prostate cancer. Using state-of-the-art da Vinci technology, surgeons perform delicate operations with remarkable accuracy through only a few tiny incisions. We are one of the few hospitals in the area to offer the next generation of this technology, the da Vinci Si - featuring high-definition 3D vision and patented robotic surgical instruments. This minimally invasive form of prostate cancer surgery results in less pain, fewer side effects and a shorter hospital stay.

ebrt treatement

External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)

This is one of the primary treatments for patients with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer.

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Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy

This is an extremely effective method for treating early stage prostate cancers. Unlike external beam radiation, which delivers a high dose of radiation from outside the body, this technique is a low energy type of radiation therapy. Tiny radioactive devices called seeds are implanted permanently inside the prostate cancer tumor to kill cancer cells. This minimizes radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissue. On average, 60 to 120 seeds, each smaller than a grain of rice, are placed in the prostate gland. The low-energy isotopes used in the seeds lose their radioactivity quickly.

Calypso® Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IG-IMRT)

Northwest Community Hospital is one of only three healthcare institutions in Illinois with this radiation therapy technology. NCH's prostate cancer services offers the Calypso® 4D Localization system, also known as GPS for the Body®, which tracks tumors for more accurate radiation therapy. Tiny beacons that emit radio signals are implanted in the cancerous prostate, helping radiologists pinpoint its location in real time for intensive treatment. Thus, the targeted "GPS" helps reduce damage to surrounding tissue.

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Cryosurgery

Using ultrasound technology to guide needles into the prostate, this prostate cancer treatment delivers extremely cold gases that kill the prostate cancer cells.

NCH Treatment Module

Prostate cancer clinical trials

NCH participates in a variety of clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of new medicines, therapies and treatments for prostate cancer.

As a prostate cancer patient, you may be eligible to participate in clinical research for prostate cancer. You'll have the opportunity to receive the most advanced drug therapies or procedures that are only available when you participate in a clinical study for prostate cancer.

These new therapies and procedures may improve your prostate cancer care and that of other patients as well. Your physician will discuss which clinical trials are appropriate for your condition.

The NCH Cancer Team

Multidisciplinary team of prostate cancer specialists

NCH has teams of highly experienced, board-certified physicians including surgeons, pathologists, oncologists, radiologists and other specialists. Our Nurse Navigators and Magnet®-designated nurses, advanced practice nurses, social workers, dietitians and rehab specialists work together to provide the best possible cancer care throughout your cancer treatment process.

Medical Oncologist - Physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer.
Surgical Oncologist - Physician specially trained in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of malignant neoplasms.
Radiation Oncologist - Physician who specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

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Wally's Story
Wally's Story

Wally's Story

Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers in men—one in seven will be diagnosed in his lifetime, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. This Mount Prospect man welcomed the support of his wife and his care team during prostate cancer treatment.

Click to read Wally's story

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