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The NCH Advantage • Technology

Putting the latest in medical advances in cancer treatment to work for you

At Northwest Community Hospital, you'll find the caring environment, easy access and personalized services you expect from a community hospital cancer program and the advanced cancer diagnosis and treatment technology you would expect to find in a teaching hospital.

We are committed to providing you with advanced technology for cancer treatment because it offers you safer and more effective treatment. Technologies like the CyberKnife® and da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System provide greater precision, less pain, faster recovery and a lower risk of side effects after cancer treatment.

Advanced technologies – combining earlier cancer detection and better cancer treatment results with fewer risks

Among the advanced technologies available at NCH for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer are:

  • da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System—The gold standard for minimally invasive cancer surgery. This breakthrough technology allows a surgeon to view 3-D images of the surgical field while sitting at a computer console. Hand, wrists and finger movements are translated into precise robotic arm movements. This gives surgeons greater precision and the patient less pain, fewer side effects and a shorter hospital stay after cancer surgery. We are one of the few hospitals in the area to offer this new technology.

  • CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System (SRS)—A non-invasive alternative to surgery for 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 cancer. We were the first hospital in the Chicago area to offer this groundbreaking cancer-fighting technology.

  • 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® Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) 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.

  • BARRX HALO360 Ablation System—Innovative, non-surgical treatment for Barrett's esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition affecting the lining of the esophagus. HALO Ablation Therapy uses radiofrequency electrodes to remove or destroy pre-cancerous cells, thus reducing the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)—Radiation therapy that delivers a finely tuned dose of radiation, precisely tailored to match the tumor in three dimensions, while leaving the surrounding tissue relatively untouched.

  • 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.

  • High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy—Tiny plastic catheters, which are placed into the prostate gland, deliver radiation therapy via tiny radioactive devices called seeds. The catheters are then easily removed, and no radioactive material is left in the prostate gland.

  • Computerized Tomographic Radiotherapy Simulator (CT-SIM)—Accurately targets cancerous tumors with radiation while sparing the surrounding tissue.

  • Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI)—Allows more patients to conserve their breasts, avoid mastectomy and complete their local therapy in less than two weeks.

  • External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)—One of the primary treatments for patients with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer.

  • Conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT)—Use of computerized tomography to generate 3-D images of internal anatomy. Sophisticated computer software then uses these images to target the cancerous tumors.

Get the cancer care you deserve. Use our online directory to find a physician or call 847.618.4YOU (4968) for a cancer specialist who is right for you.

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Last Updated 06/15/2009