Radiation therapy at ROPH

Ask the experts

What you need to know

Cancer patients in the community have an important new option: The Rush Radiation Therapy Center at Rush Oak Park Hospital. Opened in July 2014, the $4.5 million facility offers state-of-the-art cancer care—with the ease of a local commute and free parking.

But what else do you need to know about radiation therapy at Rush Oak Park Hospital? The center’s Medical Director Dian Wang, MD, and Harvard-trained Radiation Oncologist David Sher, MD, address some commonly asked questions.

Who needs radiation therapy, and what’s involved?

Radiation therapy uses high doses of radiation to cure, stop or slow the growth of cancer. About 60 percent of cancer patients need radiation therapy as part of their treatment plan.  Radiation therapy is offered on an outpatient basis with a typical course of treatment delivered five days a week for several weeks, depending on the individual’s needs.

Is radiation therapy safe?

Yes. A cancer treatment for over a century, radiation therapy today uses sophisticated imaging and computer mapping to carefully target tumors so that cancer cells are destroyed while leaving healthy tissue unaffected. At Rush Radiation Therapy Center, we run a tight ship, safety-wise, using the same quality assurance processes as Rush downtown. We provide the right treatment at the right time, the right way.

Are the latest treatment options available at Rush Oak Park Hospital?

Yes. We offer the most advanced external beam therapies available. These include intensity-modulated, image-guided, and three dimensional conformal radiation therapies as well as respiratory gating, which synchronizes therapy with your breathing movements. The type of therapy depends on the location and size of the tumor. We also offer new injectable treatments that fight cancer and pain in the bones.

If I want top-of-the-line radiation treatment, isn’t it better to go to Rush University Cancer Center downtown?

If your doctor recommends the type of radiation therapy offered at Rush Oak Park Hospital, there’s no need to go elsewhere. You’re getting the same identical radiation treatment that’s offered at Rush University Medical Center, one of the nation’s premier cancer hospitals.

How similar is it? The same clinical teams—which include radiation oncologists who subspecialize in particular types of cancer—rotate between Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush University Medical Center. The same model of linear accelerator (the machine that delivers radiation beams) is installed at both locations. And we use the same treatment protocols (step-by-step processes) at both facilities.

We also use a similar collaborative approach.  Our teleconferencing center and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) technology allow instant conferencing with surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists and other specialists at Rush University Medical Center and other locations.

So if you’re looking for the type of high quality radiation treatment you’d expect from a nationally recognized, top-rated academic medical center, you’ve got it—in Oak Park as well as Chicago.

If I have my initial cancer treatment (surgery or chemotherapy) at another hospital, can I have my radiation therapy at Rush Oak Park Hospital?

Yes. Many local patients who start their care at Rush University Medical Center choose to finish it at Rush Oak Park Hospital. We also serve patients who receive their initial treatment at other area hospitals that lack our capabilities. Transitions are smooth because we communicate closely with referring physicians and the entire treatment team.

Any other advantages to choosing treatment at Rush Radiation Therapy Center at Rush Oak Park Hospital?

Patients say several things stand out:

  • Rush Oak Park Hospital is a peaceful place to get treatment. There’s less hubbub, no waiting and the environment is pleasant. (We physicians like it for the same reason.)
  • We get folks in to see us immediately—usually within a couple days of calling. We know that to the patient and family, every cancer is an emergency.
  • We schedule and coordinate appointments and services for you—one more way we try to make things easier on you and your family.
  • We’re easy to get to on the hospital’s lower level. And valet and reserved parking near the center’s entrance is free.

For more information, call (708) 660-INFO (4636).