Cancer treatments

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, we create a treatment plan that’s right for you. Our medical, radiation and surgical oncologists work together to deliver a combination of advanced cancer therapies. Your treatment plan will target the disease while helping you live as normally as possible.


Medical oncologists diagnose and treat cancer with chemotherapy (chemo) and other medicine. Chemo differs from surgery or radiation in that it travels throughout the entire system. This means it can reach cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body.

Chemo comes in several forms: pills, shots or intravenous (IV) injections. It is administered in cycles, with a rest period following each cycle to give the body time to recover. Chemo may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to reduce the chances of the cancer returning.

Side effects vary with the amount and type of chemo. Your doctor and nurse will talk with you about ways to manage any side effects.

Some chemo drugs can cause side effects to the heart. We offer a Cardio-Oncology program to protect you from cardiovascular complications caused by chemotherapy.


Edward-Elmhurst Health is proud to offer leading-edge radiation treatments. We were among the first in Illinois to use IMRT and Trilogy IGRT in a community practice setting. Some of the targeted radiation treatments we offer include:


IGRT (image-guided radiotherapy) uses sophisticated real-time imaging to precisely target tumors. IGRT is especially beneficial for tumors that move, as the technology allows us to locate and track a tumor at the time of treatment.


IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy) is high-precision radiotherapy. It allows for the radiation dose to conform more precisely to the three-dimensional (3-D) shape of the tumor. It does so by controlling the intensity of the radiation therapy. This minimizes exposure to nearby healthy tissue.


SBRT (stereotactic body radiotherapy) uses advanced imaging techniques to deliver a targeted radiation dose to a tumor. This means less healthy tissue gets damaged by radiation. Preserving healthy tissue is important for cancer patients whose tumors are near or in essential organs.


SRS (stereotactic radiosurgery) focuses high-powered X-rays on a small area of the body. Other types of radiation therapy are more likely to affect nearby healthy tissue. SRS better targets the abnormal area.

Some radiation therapies directed at the chest area can cause side effects to the heart. We offer a Cardio-Oncology program to protect you from cardiovascular complications caused by radiation therapy.

CyberKnife® (robotic radiosurgery)

The CyberKnife® Center of Chicago is now located in the Nancy W. Knowles Cancer Center at Elmhurst Hospital. Cyberknife® delivers precise beams of high-dose radiation to areas where traditional radiation would be too damaging to the surrounding tissue.

CyberKnife® treats tumors in a wide range of locations—including those in the brain, spine, lung, liver, pancreas and prostate—while protecting normal tissue.


The Department of Surgical Oncology at Edward-Elmhurst Health aims to provide the most effective treatment in the least invasive manner.

Sometimes one procedure is all that’s necessary to examine and completely remove a tumor. In other cases, several different procedures are needed.

Learn more about cancer surgery

Our surgical oncology team uses some of the most advanced surgical procedures and technologies, including:


HIPEC is a novel procedure that combines surgery, heat and chemotherapy. This powerful treatment can dramatically improve quality of life — and sometimes even extend it — for patients with certain types of cancer.

Learn more about HIPEC


NanoKnife is used to treat certain patients with advanced pancreatic, liver and soft tissue cancers. The NanoKnife System offers a less invasive surgical treatment with few or no side effects.

Learn more about NanoKnife

da Vinci® Surgical System

The da Vinci® Surgical System offers a minimally invasive alternative for many complex surgical procedures. The system allows your surgeon to guide miniature instruments and a tiny high-definition 3-D camera to a tumor with unprecedented accuracy.

Learn more about the da Vinci® Surgical System