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Cancer Annual Report 2019


Committee Chair’s Message

Stephen Nigh, M.D.
Radiation Oncology, Medical Director of Cancer Services
Cancer Committee Chair

“Major advancements in our program have included the purchase and incorporation of a Halcyon™ linear accelerator in Radiation Oncology, 3D imaging upgrades at all of our mammography facilities and the purchase of an additional da Vinci® Surgical System to support our Robotic Surgery Program. Additionally, this year we launched a Precision Medicine Program lead by co-chairs, Gary Grad, M.D., and Rajat Malhotra, M.D. The program incorporates the latest molecular testing, targeted therapies and personalized medicine for patients diagnosed with various cancers that require very specific targets for treatment. The program will continue to advance as the rapidly evolving area of precision medicine grows.”

Executive Director’s Message

Rhea Trbojevic, R.N., M.S.
Executive Director, Cancer Services

“We use the latest technology and evidence-based medicine to provide award-winning clinical services. We partner with our community to deliver patient-centered care to nurture the trust of our patients and foster commitment to excellence in all that we do. The cornerstones of our program include board-certified physician specialists, tumor-specific patient navigators, an oncology social worker, multidisciplinary clinics and conferences, and a precision medicine committee that assists in the care of a wide variety of cancer patients. Our commitment to our community for more than 60 years goes beyond the walls of our establishment and includes community education, community fundraisers and survivorship celebrations.”

About Us

Awards and Accreditations

Public Reporting of Outcomes
Cancer Data

In 2018, the top five primary cancer sites seen at our hospital, in order, were breast, prostate, lung, colon/rectal and pancreas.

According to the primary cancer site table, we diagnosed or treated 1,443 patients with cancer in 2018.

Real Stories. True Hope.

Every year, hundreds choose our cancer program for its individualized care, leading-edge technology and multidisciplinary care team. Here are four personal stories of strength, hope and perseverance.

2019 Highlights

Community Presentations and Events

Outreach programs and community events position us as a leader in cancer prevention, early detection, survivorship and clinical expertise. Here is a sampling of our many cancer-related seminars and events in 2019.

Clinical Trials

We have been able to help patients participate in cancer-related clinical trials for more than 20 years. View trials.

Halcyon radiation therapy
Technological Advancements

In 2019, we continued to invest in sophisticated and advanced technology that helps us diagnosis and treat cancer:

  • Halcyon™
    This new radiation therapy delivery system enables us to provide highly targeted treatment with improved quality, speed, accuracy and comfort.
  • Da Vinci® robotic surgical system (additional system)
    Using advanced robotic arms and 3D imaging, our surgeons can perform highly complex cancer surgeries through incisions as small as a few centimeters.
  • 3D mammography
    We offer 3D mammography screening at all of our breast imaging centers. Oftentimes, patients who receive 3D mammography can avoid additional imaging tests to detect breast tumors. This means fewer tests and call backs and less anxiety.
  • Precision medicine
    We look at malignant tumors on a molecular level to identify their unique gene mutation(s) so we can treat them with the most appropriate methods.

No matter where our cancer patients’ journeys begin, we are here and ready to help.

  • Our breast, lung, colorectal, prostate and pancreatic cancer patients’ care teams include a dedicated patient navigator. This specially trained nurse helps patients understand their treatment options, assists with scheduling tests and appointments, and provides resources and support. Our navigators oversee educational events throughout the community as well as provide individualized navigation services.
  • Our oncology social worker oversees multiple support groups and coordinates our Cancer Survivorship Series programs.
  • We host two inspiring, joyous survivor celebrations each year.
  • Our Wellness Center offers a MedFit program, a 60-day guided exercise program customized to each participant.
  • Lymphedema services are provided at our Outpatient and Day Rehabilitation Center in Rolling Meadows.
  • We offer weekly support groups for smoking cessation, in addition to individual counseling.
  • We partner with the American Cancer Society to help support our community in funding research and providing assistance to those in need.
Gift-a-Mammogram Program

In fiscal year 2019, our Gift-a-Mammogram program:

  • Provided mammograms to 155 patients
  • Provided diagnostic testing to 65 patients
  • Diagnosed two women with breast cancer

The program is supported entirely by charitable gifts and administered by our Breast Center.

Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer 5K

The third annual Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer 5K was held Saturday, November 2 at Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine. There were 355 registered participants. This year nearly $12,000 was raised from the race and direct donations.

One hundred percent of the profit from this event goes to the Northwest Community Hospital Foundation’s Lung Cancer Fund to provide assistance for people diagnosed with lung cancer. To learn more about this event, visit the Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer website.

Vision for Advanced Cancer Care

Our vision for cancer care and the potential for a standalone cancer center are being strengthened by the input of our physicians, clinicians, patients and the community. Together with our community’s long-standing tradition of philanthropic support, this vision can become a reality for our friends and neighbors. To learn more about supporting our cancer vision, please call NCH Foundation at 847-618-4260.


Our Cancer Program thanks the NCH Foundation for its continued support of our services and programs. We extend our appreciation and thanks to all donors for their generous support. These charitable gifts enhance our ability to continue to offer the finest medical care to all individuals in our community.