Questions about COVID-19 and cancer?
Learning you or someone close to you has cancer can be a scary and overwhelming time. The team at the OSF Cancer Center located at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center works together and is by your side throughout your journey - from diagnosis through treatment to survivorship.
From highly specialized treatments and technology, to survivorship training and rehabilitation, we’re here to help you achieve the best possible outcomes.
Our programs and services are wrapped around you in an environment that fosters compassion, care and concern for your total well-being.
While we have access to the expertise of the cancer services team based at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, your care will be provided right here in Bloomington to keep you close to home.
- Access to clinical trials
- Genetic counseling
- Nurse navigator
- Nutrition counseling
- Pastoral care
- Social work
Your doctor will determine your radiation therapy plan, which may include details such as the dose of radiation to be delivered, the appropriate angles from which to deliver the radiation, the number of sessions, possible side effects associated with your treatment and follow-up care after treatment is completed.
OSF St. Joseph has partnered with Alliance Oncology to provide a mobile radiation therapy unit with a state-of-the-art Halcyon™ system by Varian Medical Systems Inc. This sophisticated technology allows for CT image-guided radiation therapy.
What You Can Expect
- This system conforms the radiation beam to the exact size and shape of the tumor, which allows for more precise treatment of the affected area and reduces the amount of radiation to the surrounding healthy tissue.
- The Halcyon system is designed to allow high-speed treatments. This helps to minimize treatment time and reduces the risk of patient movement during the treatment, which increases the safety for the patient.
- The machine is smooth and quiet with soft lighting, providing a soothing, calming atmosphere to receive your radiation treatment.
Other Things to Expect
- Before each day's treatment, you may be asked to change into a gown.
- You’ll be assisted in getting into position on a wide treatment couch that moves through the machine for simultaneous imaging and treatment.
- A two-way intercom and a couch-mounted camera allow you and your therapist to communicate throughout your treatment session.
- If a facemask, mold or other device was created for use during your treatment, it will be placed on you or under you. The couch will be adjusted so the laser light shines on the mark on your skin.
- While you are on the couch, a scan will be taken immediately prior to treatment to ensure you are properly aligned for treatment.
- Please allow 40 minutes for your daily radiation treatments. This will include the time you enter the unit for treatment until you exit the unit after your radiation treatment.
- You will see the nurse and physician on a weekly basis on an assigned day, immediately after your treatment on the unit, so please plan for additional time for this appointment.
- Please let the radiation therapist know you would like to talk with the nurse when you come for daily treatment.
How Treatment is Delivered
The radiation is delivered by a machine called a linear accelerator or linac. Most linacs have a gantry, which is the part of the accelerator out of which the radiation beam extends.
The gantry can be rotated around to allow radiation to be delivered to the tumor from any angle as the treatment couch moves.
During treatment, the gantry will move around you to deliver the radiation. The radiation beam is not visible to the eye, so you will not see it.
Post-Treatment and Follow-Ups
Following completion of treatment, typically your first checkup is at between one and three months with subsequent checkups scheduled at six-month intervals. This may vary, depending on your individual situation.
Our nurse navigator is here to answer questions and help you navigate this journey.
The nurse navigator serves as a single point of contact for you and your family and acts as an educator, an advocate and a friend.
Our nurse navigator can assist with many aspects of your care, including:
- Consulting with you and your family members in navigating through the comprehensive services that are available
- Assessing the individual and personal needs of you and your family
- Providing the necessary information, education and resource materials to better inform you of what to expect throughout your treatment
- Assisting with the coordination and scheduling of tests and services
- Communicating with physicians, case managers, support service personnel, family members and others on your behalf
- Conducting follow-up and providing ongoing support and information about services available to you and your family members
OSF Cancer Center
210 St. Joseph Drive
Bloomington, Illinois 61701
Phone: (309) 661-5240
Radiation OncologyBloomington, Pekin, Peoria