A Publication of WTVP

Home. Family. Friends. For most of us, these words evoke happy thoughts and memories of laughter, peaceful nights and fun-filled days. But when we or someone we love is faced with a cancer diagnosis, it can be a very frightening time. And for good reason. Just thirty years ago, the average survival rate of adults with cancer was approximately 35 percent.

Today, these statistics are much better. Improved treatments and continued cancer research have raised the average survival rate of adults diagnosed with cancer to over 70 percent. Still, fighting cancer is never easy, especially for those who are faced with such a diagnosis and for their caregivers.

Thanks to Illinois CancerCare, located in Peoria, we don’t have to face that giant alone. With its state-of-the-art facility, 14 cancer specialists, nine mid-level providers, 45 nurses and a host of trained medical personnel available to assist with treatments and therapies, Illinois CancerCare is there to support cancer patients and their families every step of the way.

Illinois CancerCare, formerly Oncology Hematology Associates of Central Illinois, began seeing patients in 1977 when Dr. Stephen Cullinan started the practice. 31 years later, they have 14 physicians and clinics in 15 communities throughout central Illinois.

When someone is faced with a cancer diagnosis, it can be very overwhelming and frightening. In some cases, people may feel that it is necessary to go elsewhere for cancer care since we all want to make sure we are getting the very best possible care and treatments available.

It is important to know that Illinois CancerCare has the very latest state-of-the-art equipment, treatments and therapies available. In 2007, they were ranked among the top 10 in the nation for their participation in clinical cancer research trials. What does this mean to us living in central Illinois?

Research = Hope.
As mentioned earlier, the cancer survival rate among adults has increased significantly in the past 30 years, even though the number of those diagnosed with cancer has also increased significantly over those same 30 years. To what do we owe this increase in survival? Clearly, it is because of cancer research trials that we have the advanced treatments and therapies available today, and it is because of these trials that we will continue to increase survival rates in the future, until eventually there is a cure.

When people make the decision to go to a well-known facility or large academic center when faced with any serious diagnosis, they do so because they want the very latest treatments and every possible hope. This, in many cases, involves using the traditional standard of care, treatments and therapies, in addition to any possible new, promising drugs available, to increase chances of survival.

Illinois CancerCare is part of a national consortium, along with the Mayo Clinic, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and many more of the largest academic facilities, offering residents of central Illinois some of the very same treatments and trials close to home. In fact, at any given time, Illinois CancerCare has between 120 and 150 open clinical research trials.

The physicians at Illinois CancerCare are recognized as some of the best and brightest. Most are triple board certified in internal medicine, oncology and hematology (blood disorders).

Being among the largest practices in the United States has afforded the physicians at Illinois CancerCare the ability to specialize in certain cancer types. For example, Dr. Geoffroy sees most of the brain cancer patients in the practice. With the sheer size of the practice, he sees more brain cancer patients than most cancer physicians in the world. Physicians from all over the country call him to consult on brain cancer because of his expertise. When you are faced with a diagnosis of cancer, it is important that you are seen by someone who has the most experience with your particular type of cancer.

This is just one example of the ability for Illinois CancerCare physicians to specialize. There are four breast cancer specialists within the group, and head and neck, colon, GI, lung specialists, and the list goes on.

With the best and brightest physicians, the latest clinical trials and state-of-the-art facilities, there is rarely a reason for those million and a half residents of central Illinois to leave the comforts of home and support of family and friends when undergoing a cancer diagnosis. It’s this very support system that will help you through, should you be faced with such a diagnosis.

For questions, call Illinois CancerCare at (309) 243-3000 or visit the website at iBi