Oncology at Insight
- Cancer Program
- Cancers We Treat
- Genetics Counseling
- Lung Cancer Screening
- Cancer Treatment & Care
- Care Navigation
- Cancer Support & Recovery
- Cancer Second Opinion Services
Each year, nearly 1.7 million Americans learn they have cancer, the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the United States, after heart disease. At Mercy, Chicagoans find state-of-the-art care and support for cancer. At Mercy, no one faces cancer alone.
At Mercy, No One Faces Cancer Alone
If you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, you want the best possible care–medical expertise and advanced treatment options. At Mercy, you find these hallmarks of excellence and something more–a compassionate, caring approach, and the right support to help you navigate the many challenges of your cancer journey. Mercy’s comprehensive cancer program provides academic-level cancer care in an accessible, community based setting that focuses on you. We take the time to understand your individual needs, and create a care plan around them. At Mercy, we’re with you every step of the way on your cancer journey. it’s just one of the ways we’re leading the way in Cancer Care, bringing the best to you, close to home.
Mercy: Your First Choice in Cancer Care
Thanks to recent advances in prevention, detection and treatment, cancer is an increasingly beatable disease. At the Cancer Program at Mercy, strides are being made against the disease on a daily basis. Medical expertise, leading-edge technology and advanced treatment-options are the hallmarks of cancer care at Mercy. From detection through treatment, recovery and support, the Mercy offers sophisticated care in a compassionate environment. Our team of experts is committed to the early detection and treatment of cancer to help people live longer, healthier lives
Cancers We Treat
Mercy specialists are at the forefront of treating many types of cancers, from the most common, site-specific cancers (lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, gynecological, head/neck) to the more rare. We serve patients at all stages of the disease, from detection through more advanced stages requiring more complex treatment approaches. Cancers we treat include:
- Colon, stomach, and rectal cancer
- Skin cancer
- Prostate, testicular cancer
- Cervical, ovarian, uterine, and other gynecological cancer
- Oral, head & neck cancers–brain, thyroid, throat, mouth etc.
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Bone cancer
Find a physician online now, or call 312.567.2600 and a physcian referral specialist will hep you find a physician.
Genetics Counseling Services
Genetic risk assessment, counseling and testing are for persons concerned about the possibility of developing an “inherited” cancer. Family members can pass inherited cancer gene mutations from generation to generation. Inherited gene mutations can increase your risk of developing breast, ovarian, uterine, colorectal, melanoma, pancreatic or prostate cancers.
The cancer genetic counseling program at Mercy provides individualized cancer risk assessment to identify, educate and screen people who have an increased risk of developing cancer due to hereditary (genetic) factors.
Hereditary factors contribute to the development of cancer in about 10 percent of cases. Understanding your risk factors allows you and your family members to make proactive, informed decisions about your health.
- Personalized cancer risk assessment based on personal medical history, lifestyle factors and family history
- Genetic counseling and testing, when appropriate
- Education about your risk of developing cancer and potential implications for family members
- Personalized cancer surveillance plans
- Cancer prevention strategies and planning
- Psychosocial support
Who Might Benefit from Genetic Counseling or Testing?
Not everyone who has a personal or family history of cancer needs to have genetic counseling or genetic testing. This program may benefit you if you or a relative has:
- A cancer diagnosis at younger age than usual (ex., before age 50)
- More than one cancer in the same individual (ex., bilateral breast cancers or multiple primary cancers)
- Multiple relatives on the same side of the family who have had related cancers (such as breast and ovarian, or colon and endometrial)
- Been diagnosed with a cancer that has a stronger genetic risk, such as pancreatic cancer, male breast cancer or ovarian cancer
- A known gene mutation or syndrome that causes a predisposition to cancer (ex., BRCA1/2 gene mutations, Lynch syndrome, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis syndrome)
How Do I Learn About My Inherited Cancer Risk and What Can I Do About It?
Our certified genetic counselor specializes in genetically inherited cancers. She will meet with you to assess your inherited cancer risk. The initial meeting with the genetic counselor includes a two-hour assessment. The following information will be discussed at this time:
- A family medical history will be taken
- The role of inherited gene mutations will be explained
- The likelihood that cancer-causing genes may have been (or may be) inherited by members of your family will be estimated
- Your likelihood of developing cancer (at some time in your life) will be estimated
- Ways to diagnose cancer at an early stage will be discussed
- Opportunities to lower your risk of cancer will be discussed
From this meeting, some clients may pursue further genetic counseling. The testing requires a small sample of blood that is sent to a genetics laboratory for analysis.
If you are identified as high-risk, we recommend increased screenings and suggest you discuss other risk-reducing options with your physician.
Who Should Seek Genetic Counseling and Possible Testing?
Patients who have strong family histories of cancer, especially a diagnosis of cancer at an early age, or who are in treatment for breast or ovarian cancer – or who are breast or ovarian cancer survivors – should seriously consider genetic testing.
If you test positive for a cancer gene mutation, this information is of vital importance to all your blood relatives: sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, children, grandchildren and other family members. Each family member has a 50:50 chance of having inherited the mutated gene.
Today, there is opportunity to practice good cancer prevention. Medical and surgical preventions are available as well as lifestyle changes and cancer screening. If your family members know that they are at increased risk of developing cancer, they can actually take action to protect themselves.
Physicians can refer to the genetic counseling program by calling 312-567-2161 or faxing a referral to 312-567-5390.
If you have a personal or family history of cancer, ask your doctor or contact our genetic counselor to find out if genetic testing is right for you or a family member. Call us at 312-567-2161.
Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths, with 160,000 deaths in the United States each year. A variety of factors contribute to an increased risk for lung cancer, including a long history of smoking. Screening has been shown to decrease lung cancer deaths. If you are a current or former smoker, you may benefit from a CT scan that detects lung cancer at an earlier and potentially more treatable stage than x-rays alone.
This lung cancer screening is now covered by most insurance providers, and is endorsed by the US Preventive Services Task Force, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and others.
You are at high risk for developing lung cancer and should be screened if you:
- are between the age of 55 and 77
- have a 30-pack year or more smoking history
(For example: 1 pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years)
- are a current or former smoker (quit within the last 15 years)
To schedule an appointment and learn more about Lung Cancer Screening, call 312.567.8800.
Cancer Treatment & Care
Mercy specialists are at the forefront of treating many types of cancers, from the most common, site-specific cancers (lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, gynecological, head/neck) to the more rare. We serve patients at all stages of the disease, from detection through more advanced stages requiring more complex treatment approaches.
As a teaching hospital, Mercy patients have access to physicians 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients benefit from the collaborative team approach and critical thinking skills fostered by a teaching environment. Working together, our team of experts offers patients the most advanced treatment and care in a comforting, healing environment helping them live longer, healthier lives.
Accredited for Excellence
Mercy’s Cancer Program is accredited with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer—a hallmark of excellence in cancer care. Mercy experts continue to meet or exceed national benchmarks when it comes to patient outcomes. At Mercy, we’re bringing the best in cancer treatment to your community, close to home.
A Partner on Your Journey
Cancer patients have a host of challenging issues to manage aside from the primary need for effective medical treatment. Dealing with insurance, securing appointment transportation, managing medication side effects, addressing the psychological impacts of cancer—these and other details can easily overwhelm patients and their families.
Mercy’s comprehensive navigation and care coordination assigns every patient to a caring, compassionate and knowledgeable professional to support them from diagnosis through recovery and survivorship. Mercy is a pioneer in the use of patient navigators, having piloted a navigation program that successfully increased the number of Chicago-area women undergoing breast cancer screening. Patient navigators are now a hallmark of both Mercy’s Cancer Program, and cancer care across the nation.
The navigator helps patients, families and caregivers to plan, advocate, identify and leverage resources, manage insurance issues, and more.
Like our medical staff, the members of Mercy’s navigation team come from a multidisciplinary background and work cooperatively on behalf of their patients, leveraging critical expertise and sharing approaches to problem solving. Our navigators speak several languages, and are well matched to Chicago’s diverse communities.
Cancer Support & Recovery
The Cancer Program at Mercy provides comprehensive support before, during and after your cancer journey. We help you cope with the emotional and physical side effects of cancer treatments, helping you heal your body, mind and spirit. Our support services include:
• Breast Cancer Support Group
• Community Acupuncture Center
• Look Good, Feel Better
• Us Too – Prostate Cancer Support Group
• Voices of Mercy – Laryngectomy Support Group
Once you’ve completed treatment, you’ll be more than ready to move from cancer patient to cancer survivor. And Mercy is here for you when you do. With innovative therapies and long-term support services, we want to be sure you live well after your cancer treatment.
Whether you have medical, social or emotional concerns, Mercy’s Cancer Survivorship Program offers guidance, support, education and lifestyle programs to help you take the next steps in your journey after cancer.
Cancer Second Opinion Services
Second opinions are often recommended for those diagnosed with cancer and can be valuable for many patients in making the right decisions about their treatment. As an accredited center with academic-level care and seasoned experts, Mercy provides an outstanding resource for second opinions. Our community setting offers a convenient and efficient option for patients to obtain second opinions in a timely manner.
If you have a concern or would like a second opinion, please call 312.567.2350.