OSF Cancer Center utilizing new screening tool

1/31/2023 - Bloomington, Illinois

  • Crystal Sweeney

For immediate release
Contact: Curt Squires | Public Relations and Communications Coordinator | (309) 665-5748


(BLOOMINGTON, Ill. | January 31, 2023) – OSF HealthCare has a new screening tool to fight cancer in the Bloomington-Normal communities.

OSF HealthCare has started screening patients with CancerIQ, to use precision medicine to improve patient care, cancer prevention and treatment outcomes.

CancerIQ is an online, five-minute survey that flags vulnerable patients in real-time based on a short questionnaire about their personal and family history. The application gives providers the information they need to quickly investigate the possibility of hereditary cancer for a patient.

“CancerIQ allows us to dig a little deeper to model a prevention and treatment care plan to the individual,” said Crystal Sweeney, APRN, a genetics advanced practice provider at the OSF Cancer Center in Bloomington. “An example would be talking with a patient who has a higher risk of developing breast cancer, and the provider might suggest, ‘Instead of getting only your mammogram yearly, you should also be getting a breast MRI.’ So it really allows a clinician to tailor a screening and prevention plan.”

More than 75,600 OSF HealthCare patients have taken a CancerIQ assessment since 2015 when it was first initiated as part of an OSF Innovation pilot at OSF Centers for Breast Health in Peoria. Among patients taking the evaluation, 30% were found to have an elevated cancer risk and were given the opportunity for additional screening and to see a clinician trained in genetic cancer risk assessment. That translated to more than 3,100 changes in care plans.

Those changes in care plans could include any of the following: MRIs, surgeries and vaccinations, at-home screening kits, lifestyle interventions, education and connection to social resources, said Sweeney.

“The goal of altering care plans is simple – early detection, better outcomes,” she continued. “It has been proven the earlier cancer is detected, the better the clinical outcomes will be and quality of life is for the individual.”

Surveys are currently being offered at OSF St. Joseph and OSF Saint James mammography and OSF College Avenue mammography.

Because CancerIQ is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration as a tool to identify hereditary cancer risks, the genetic testing that follows the assessment is often covered by insurance. If you have a concern about cancer because of your family history, make sure to talk to your medical provider about next steps.

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Curt Squires
Public Relations & Communications Coordinator