A Publication of WTVP

There are some types of news we hope never to receive. A cancer diagnosis is probably near the top of the list. Unfortunately, cancer is a reality that will touch many of us. It could be our own diagnosis, or that of a friend or loved one. Although cancer is serious, the appropriate care can make all the difference.

That’s why I am so proud of the oncology services we offer at UnityPoint Health. With leading physicians and advanced technologies, we’re able to diagnose and treat cancer in many forms. But it’s not just about the medicine. It’s also about the supportive and compassionate care we provide to patients and their families. When we care for patients with both sophisticated treatments and an empathetic care team, we can make life-changing impacts.

Teams and Technologies
An important part of our Oncology Service Line is our Surgical Oncology Program. Our medical staff includes multiple surgeons with expertise in specialties like lung, abdominal, breast, and head and neck surgeries. We make sure our surgical teams have the best technology to use in helping patients fight this deadly disease. One especially important tool is our surgical robot—the most advanced and sophisticated surgical robot available. Patients who undergo less invasive surgical procedures using this robot typically benefit with shorter recovery times and unmatched surgical precision.

This year, we’re adding several expert physicians to our team. Dr. Salvatore LoCoco is an expert in gynecological oncology, specializing in cancers of the uterus and ovaries. We’re also welcoming Dr. Jon Soble, an experienced urologist with expertise in robotic prostate surgery. And in April, Dr. Candace Correa will join us to lead our Radiation Oncology department.

Together, these physicians will enhance our abilities to coordinate cancer care across the continuum, guiding patients through their treatment journeys with high-quality care and a supportive experience. They’ll also lead our collaborative efforts with community partners and future partners. Currently, we work with organizations like Susan G. Komen, Illinois CancerCare and the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine. We look forward to new opportunities to collaborate with our community. Together, we’re better able to ensure the most appropriate care is delivered to every cancer patient in the region.

Real Victories
To really appreciate the impact of our oncology programs, you need to hear about how a real person has been impacted. That’s why I want to share Debbie Kammueller’s story with you.

In 2016, Kammueller got jarring news: she had breast cancer. Our team guided her through treatment, as she received radiation therapy at UnityPoint Health – Methodist. “The Methodist staff, particularly in Radiation Oncology, was wonderful, but that falls short of my true feelings,” she says. “They are genuine. They prayed over me, they felt sad when I was sad, they held my hand when I cried, they jumped for joy and did a happy dance when I was able to start my treatments and they lifted me up every day.”

Last year, Kammueller’s treatment ended in victory. She completed her final radiation session in the Radiation Oncology Center at UnityPoint Health – Methodist, ringing our symbolic “victory bell” during her last visit. I’m so happy for her and her family.

Although no one wants to face cancer, those we serve can count on the oncology services at UnityPoint Health to be here for them should the need arise. Through our comprehensive programs and expert physicians, we’re leveraging some of the most advanced medical treatments available to help people fight this disease. We’re focused on guiding them along the way—hopefully making what can be a frightening experience a little more bearable.

Cancer isn’t something to be celebrated, but we can be proud of the outcomes we are able to achieve for many. For those who are diagnosed and the ones who love them, the work we’re doing and the support we’re providing really matters. iBi