While the Door County Cancer Center (DCCC) installs a new, state-of-the-art linear accelerator to offer patients ultra-precise radiation treatments, patient who need to travel to Green Bay for radiation therapy in the interim are benefitting from a local charitable fund.
David Spude Cancer Center Fund committee members with items donated by the fund.
“The David Spude Cancer Center Fund was created to give local patients comfort, care and support as they receive treatment at the Door County Cancer Center,” says Mike Herlache, director of the Door County Medical Center Foundation who administers the fund. With the temporary interruption of radiation services at the DCCC, the fund is providing gas cards to local patients needing to travel to Green Bay for radiation services. “We’ve heard from many patients about what a help this has been,” says Herlache.
Some patients are also finding relief in Integrative Medicine therapies offered at Ministry. “We know that therapies such as acupuncture, meditation and massage can be enormously beneficial to people being treated for cancer,” says Dr. Chona Antonio, a Ministry provider who specializes in Integrative Medicine. “Combining western and eastern medical approaches serves the whole person, alleviating pain and improving patient comfort.” In addition to clinic services for Integrative Medicine, The Community Clinic of Door County also sponsors The Healing Project in collaboration with Ministry. The Healing Project provides free integrative health care services to Door County men and women with cancer at any stage.
The new linear accelerator is currently being calibrated, and is expected to be operational by April. Patients needing chemotherapy and cancer consultations are still being seen as usual at the DCCC. For questions about the David Spude Cancer Center Fund, integrative therapies or the Door County Cancer Center, call 920.746.7580.
The Door County Cancer Center (DCCC) is installing a new, state-of-the-art Trilogy linear accelerator with advanced imaging technology to offer patients image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). IGRT is an extremely precise form of radiation treatment that utilizes multiple imaging techniques to target tumors, resulting in faster treatments, greater patient comfort, and the potential for better outcomes.
“This state-of-the-art technology will enable us to treat patients with advanced radiotherapy techniques,” says Dr. Richard Auchter, radiation oncologist with HSHS St. Vincent Hospital who provides care to patients at the DCCC. “It provides us with tremendous versatility and precision for customizing treatments according to the specifics of each patient’s case.
Dr. Richard Auchter, radiation oncologist
The new technology performs precise imaging of the tumor and automated patient positioning, and enables clinicians to concentrate radiation doses on the tumor while protecting surrounding healthy tissue. This means that high doses of radiation can be delivered quickly and with great precision. “The new accelerator also expands our ability to treat more types of cancer right here in Door County, providing cutting-edge care close to home,” adds Dr. Auchter.
Radiation therapy is used today in more than half of all cancer treatments due to its unique clinical advantages. This new technology gives the providers at Door County Cancer Center the potential to substantially improve treatment outcomes by doing a better job of protecting healthy tissue while delivering more powerful doses to cancerous tumors.
The new linear accelerator is expected to be installed and operational by mid-April.
This year, the Door County Cancer Center at Ministry Door County Medical Center celebrates 10 years of caring for the community. Since 2005, the dedicated nurses and doctors of the Cancer Center have provided care to thousands of local residents. Dr. Sally Schlise helped found the center and served as its director until her retirement in 2012. She recalls how excited she was to be able to provide quality cancer care, close to home, when the clinic opened its doors in 2005.
“At the time I was working at St. Vincent’s, and there were so many Door County residents traveling to Green Bay for their cancer care. As a lifelong resident of Sturgeon Bay, I knew that offering services right here in Door County would benefit so many.” Through an innovative partnership with St. Vincent Hospital and Green Bay Oncology, Ministry Door County Medical Center brought life-changing cancer care to local residents.
“We hear over and over again how our patients value the personal care they receive here,” says Dr. Schlise. “Patients feel at home here, and they are being cared for by experts who live right in our own community.”
This month, the Door County Cancer Center will begin installing a new linear accelerator that will take state-of-the-art images, providing even greater accuracy for patients receiving radiation treatments. During the installation of the equipment (January through mid-April) patients needing radiation treatments will be treated in Green Bay at either St. Vincent or St. Mary’s hospitals.
Other services at the Door County Cancer Center will continue uninterrupted. Dr. Richard Auchter, oncologist, will continue to see patients at the Door County Cancer Center, and staff will continue to provide medical oncology (chemotherapy) treatments.
For questions regarding the Door County Cancer Center, call (920) 746-7580.