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Cancer Treatment Services in Normal, IL

At the Community Cancer Center, we pride ourselves on our comprehensive team of specialists. Whether you are a healthcare provider or a patient, you are in the right place! Our team works together to ensure that they do everything possible to fight the disease and assist individuals in maintaining their quality of life. The Community Cancer Center is home to medical oncologists, clinical nurses, registered dieticians, social workers, support staff and more. We are Central Illinois’ leader in cancer care and we believe that developing a comprehensive treatment plan to meet individual needs is the best way to fight disease and focus on the individual.

Our physicians and staff specialize in the treatment of numerous types of cancer, including complex and advanced stage cases. Our Center houses state-of-the-art equipment that allows our team to more accurately locate, stage and treat the disease. Together, we develop an integrated approach that’s right for each person. We are Central Illinois’ leader in cancer care.

To learn more about a specific physician, area of expertise or to refer a patient, please use the links below or call us today.

Radiation Oncology

Oncologists usually treat cancer with radiation therapy, surgery or medications including chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and/or biologic therapy, either alone or in combination.

If your cancer can be treated with radiation, you will be referred to a radiation oncologist – a doctor who specializes in treating patients with radiation therapy. Your radiation oncologist will work with your primary doctor and other cancer specialists, such as surgeons and medical oncologists, to oversee your care. He or she will discuss the details of your cancer with you, the role of radiation therapy in your overall treatment plan and what to expect from your treatment.

Radiation Oncologists at the Community Cancer Center are:

Shermian A. Woodhouse, M.D., M.P.H.

Patrick Fernandes, M.D.

Candace Correa, M.D.

The Community Cancer Center is home to a Varian Truebeam linear accelerator. This state-of-the-art machine is used for Radiosurgery.

What is Radiosurgery?

Radiosurgery is a non-invasive treatment technique used primarily to ablate tumors. Radiosurgery is most suitable for small, well-defined tumors that can be seen in imaging, such as a CT or an MRI scan. Despite the use of the word “surgery” in its name, radiosurgery does not involve removing the tumor with a surgical knife. Instead, a focused high-intensity beam of radiation is used to target a tumor while minimizing dosage to healthy tissue.

Put simply, radiosurgery is a highly precise, intensified form of radiotherapy, or radiation therapy. Physicians may utilize radiosurgery techniques when conventional radiotherapy is not an appropriate option for a patient’s particular case. It can be used as the first line of treatment for some tumors, or for tumors that are otherwise inaccessible for open surgery. Radiosurgery can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or as a palliative treatment when curing the cancer is not possible.

In addition to treating cancer, radiosurgery has also been shown to be beneficial for the treatment of some non-cancerous, neurovascular conditions. We recommend that you talk to your radiation oncologist about which treatment method is right for you.

The Community Cancer Center also utilizes a TomoTherapy Hi-Art treatment system.

The TomoTherapy Treatment Difference

Conventional radiation therapy machines deliver a wide beam of radiation from only a few angles. The Hi-Art treatment system uses its unique CT scanner design to deliver radiation continuously from all angles around the patient. More angles and more precise modulation result in dose distributions that conform to tumors like never before. This minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

The Hi-Art treatment system looks like a CT scanner because it is a CT scanner. It lets our staff efficiently acquire 3d CTrue images of every patient every day. With these images, our clinicians can check the size, shape, and location of tumors before each treatment. They can then compare that day’s image with the one used for planning to make the that radiation is directed where it should be. These images can be used to analyze and, when necessary, modify a patient’s treatment at any point during the treatment course.

Diagnostic PET/CT Services

Two Scans. One Image.

A single purpose.

It’s our way of giving our community advanced cancer care with a human touch.

What is a PET/CT scan?
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) are both standard imaging tools that physicians use to pinpoint disease states in the body. A CT scan identifies a suspected tumor, while the PET scan confirms if the tumor is malignant and if it has spread. By combining these two technologies, physicians can more accurately diagnose and identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.

How does PET work?
First, a patient is given radioactive glucose through an IV. All cells need glucose for energy; however, cancer cells use glucose faster than normal cells. a PET scan measures metabolic activity by detecting the radiation emitted when cancerous cells absorb this glucose. Three-dimensional images can then be generated by the computer showing the detected activity throughout the body.

What are the benefits of a PET/CT?

  • More accurate with better image quality
  • More convenient to have both scans performed simultaneously
  • Less error due to patient positioning changes

Who interprets the scan results?
A radiologist or physician who is specifically trained in nuclear medicine will evaluate the images. In order to ensure accuracy, the Community Cancer Center uses an additional step of having another radiologist read the scan. Two eyes are better than one.

How does The Community Cancer Center verify accuracy?
The PET/CT program at The Community Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). As an accredited facility, various quality assurance measures must be performed to ensure proper functioning of the PET/CT scanner. Additionally, random scans are also reviewed by an additional radiologist sent for peer review by outside facilities. All of these quality checks must be documented to meet ACR requirements and maintain accreditation.

Why do I need a PET/CT scan?
PET/CT is a powerful imaging technique that holds great promise in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, particularly cancer. A non-invasive test, PET/CT accurately images metabolic and anatomic information in the human body in a single scan. This allows your physician to examine your entire body at once. PET/CT provides a more complete picture, making it easier for your doctor to diagnose problems, determine the extent of disease, prescribe treatment, and track progress.

How much time should I allow?
You can expect to be at the center for two to three hours. The actual scan itself takes far less time.

What does my procedure involve?
A PET/CT scan is painless, with no side effects. After fasting for at least four hours, you will receive an intravenous (IV) injection of a radioactive glucose. Following the injection, you will rest quietly for approximately 90 minutes, while the glucose is distributed throughout the body.

After the distribution time is complete, you will then be asked to lie on a table that slowly passes through the scanner. After the organ being studied processes the radioactive tracer and the scanner records the information, a trained radiologist interprets the images. Results are reported to your referring physician usually within 48 hours.

Medicare covers PET/CT scanning for many uses, including breast, lung, colorectal, esophageal, melanoma, lymphoma, thyroid and head and neck cancers. Most private insurers cover PET/CT scans as well. Check with your physician about your insurance coverage.

Comprehensive Breast Cancer Services

First and Foremost…Here for you

Ensuring the very best breast services are available in our community.

The Comprehensive Brest Service of the Community Cancer Center ensures that the very best breast cancer services are available in our community. The service provides coordination of care for the patient and family across the continuum, from prevention & early detection, through treatment and on to survivor services.

The components of the Comprehensive Breast Service include:

  • Individualized coordination of services by certified RN Breast Health Navigator
  • Multidisciplinary Treatment Planning
  • Radiation Oncology & Medical Oncology
  • Education and Support for Patients and their Families
  • Physician & other Professional Education
  • Community Education
  • Survivor Services
  • Clinical Trials
  • Genetic Testing

Treatment Options

Medical and Radiation Oncology, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment options, are available at the Community Cancer Center. The treatment offered follow recommendations established by the National Comprehensive access to clinical trials and state of the art technology. Additionally, the Breast Service staff works with all physicians, women’s centers & hospitals to facilitate coordinated care.

Breast Health Navigator

A Breast Health Navigator is a Registered Nurse who is specially trained to facilitate breast cancer care. The Breast Health Navigator offers educational resources for the patient and family, answers their questions and provides support during the breast cancer experience. Facilitation of physician recommendations for patient care is performed by the Breast Health Navigator to help ensure patient understanding. To contact the Breast Health Navigator at the Community Cancer Center, please call 309-451-2216.

Multidisciplinary Treatment Planning

Multidisciplinary treatment planning involves weekly conferences where newly diagnosed breast cancer cases are presented for discussion to help facilitate decisions in treatment planning. These weekly conferences are attended by physicians representing all aspects of the patient’s care, including Oncologists, Surgeons, Primary Care, Pathologists, Radiologists, and the Breast Health Navigator. This representation provides the benefit of a team approach in order to identify the best treatment option(s) for the patient. Research has shown that multidisciplinary treatment planning increases survivor rates.

Download a Comprehensive Breast Service brochure here

Medical Oncology

The Community Cancer Center’s medical-oncology team includes physicians, oncology nurses and other oncology specialists with many years of experience treating a wide variety of cancers. At the Cancer Center, physicians treat patients with the most current anti-cancer drugs and treatment protocols available. Often, the medical oncologist is the coordinator of the treatment team, keeping track of the various tests results and follow-up exams performed by other specialists.

Medical Oncologists at the Community Cancer Center include:

Mid Illinois Hematology & Oncology Associates (MIHOA);*

Pramern Sriratana, MD

Hwan Gon Jeong, MD

John Migas, MD

Lyndi Alberts, APN, FNP-BC

Pamela Madden, NP

*Medical Oncology services provided by MIHOA, an independent physician group that is not a subsidiary or affiliate of Community Cancer Center.

Please visit this helpful website for more information on medical oncology therapy:

Mid Illinois Hematology & Oncology Associates

© Copyright 2015 Community Cancer Center - 407 East Vernon Avenue - Normal, IL 61761 - 309-451-8500