Illinois CyberKnife Recognizes Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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Park Ridge-based cancer center completes second year at Advocate Lutheran General.

Opened in 2011, Illinois CyberKnife completes its second year at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital this month.

In recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Illinois CyberKnife offers tips on how to reduce the risk of one its most frequently treated diseases. The center has treated nearly 50 lung cancer patients this year with its advanced cancer treatment technology.

Opened in 2011, Illinois CyberKnife completes its second year at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital this month. The center opened as a service of the hospital to offer stereotactic radiosurgery using CyberKnife® technology. Illinois CyberKnife has since treated nearly 200 patients with benign and malignant tumors throughout the body, including the brain, spine, lungs, liver, pancreas and prostate.

“A number of our patients travel from outside our hospital partner’s service area and with each anniversary we hope to continue extending our network throughout Chicago to reach more patients who could benefit from our treatment approach,” said Dr. Arica Hirsch, Illinois CyberKnife medical director.

Dr. Hirsch offers the following tips to reducing the risk of lung cancer and support the fight against the disease.

  • Reduce exposure to cigarette smoke. Smokers who quit can cut their risk of cancer in half within five years according to the American Cancer Society. This can also reduce the risk of a smoker’s loved ones developing cancer through secondhand smoke. When non-smokers are exposed to SHS it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking and has been linked to lung cancer.
  • Get screened. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released a recommendation on CT lung cancer screenings for long-term smokers. Though pending finalization, the recommendation applies to current and heavy smokers between ages 55 and 79.

The USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services and preventive medications. To read more about the recommendation, view the draft for public comment.

  • Compare treatment options. The best treatment option for each patient can vary greatly depending on the stage of the cancer and location and size of the tumor. Patients should seek information and consider all options before deciding on a treatment plan.

“Lung cancer is an extremely widespread and common disease, but it is also among the most preventable cancers,” Dr. Hirsch said. “Taking just a few steps to improve lung health can have an enormous impact on overall health.”

Illinois CyberKnife treats lung tumors with a noninvasive procedure called stereotactic body radiation radiosurgery. Tumors are treated with very precise, high-dose radiation beams while radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor is minimized.

Though surgery is the standard treatment for lung cancer, patients in poor health or suffering from chronic pulmonary disease like emphysema may not be able to undergo surgery. CyberKnife treatment can be an alternative for those patients especially. Treatment is completed within five or fewer sessions and patients return to their normal routine, experiencing few to no side effects.

Illinois CyberKnife is a department of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and is located at 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, Ill. 60068. For more information, call (847) 723-0100.

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Anne Dunlap
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