Cancer Care

"When a person asks from the heart, the heart responds and both are blessed."
--Sister Judith Ann Duvall, O.S.F.

The OSF Healthcare Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to support services across our Ministry including the study and treatment of cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year globally, about 14 million people learn they have cancer and eight million people die from the disease.

Defying the Odds:

At OSF, our knowledgeable medical teams are working towards the future. A future focused on prevention, faster diagnosis, and effective cancer treatment plans.

Your generous gift will allow us to:

  • Invest in the latest medical equipment and patient care facilities
  • Train the healthcare workforce of the future
  • Reach out to people in the communities we serve
  • Nurture groundbreaking research

When you make a gift, you can be assured that your contribution will be put to the best possible use. We strive to be good stewards of the foundation's financial resources. We hope you will join us in providing the greatest care and love to everyone who comes through our doors.

Supporting the Future, Saving Lives:

OSF Saint Anthony Center for Cancer Care

Your support creates new possibilities. Since 1995, experience, dedication and caring are the three words most associated with the Center for Cancer Care at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois. The Center for Cancer Care is the region's leading provider of cancer care and hope.

The Center for Cancer Care houses almost all outpatient cancer services in one area so cancer patients and their loved ones do not have to endure the emotional and physical stress of making multiple office visits to several locations.

OSF Saint Anthony was the first healthcare provider in the Rockford area to provide patients high-dose rate brachytherapy, which uses radiation internally to attack tumors, prostate seed implants, as well as genetic risk assessment programs for breast and colon cancer.

The physicians, nurses, medical technicians and other healthcare staff at the Center for Cancer Care are some of the best in oncology care. They are talented, skilled, hardworking and knowledgeable professionals dedicated to providing world-class medical care, as well as the emotional and spiritual support needed to defeat cancer.

Services offered at the Center for Cancer Care include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Blood cell transfusions
  • Hydration therapy
  • External beam treatments
  • High-dose rate brachytherapy
  • Prostate seed implants
  • Pain management
  • Mammosite
  • Research protocols
  • Social services
  • Nutrition support
  • Financial counseling
  • Pastoral care
  • Support groups
  • Educational materials
  • Rehabilitation

Cancer Treatment Teams Include

Radiation Oncologists
Radiation Oncology Nurses>
Radiation Therapists
Medical Radiation Physicists
Hematology/Oncology Physicians
Social Workers
Physical Therapists

Inspirational Story:

Conquering Cancer with High-Tech Treatment

Denise OgbornSomewhere in between running the family plumbing business and helping take care of her ill mother, Denise Ogborn stopped looking after her own health.

“I always felt great,” says Ogborn, of Washington, Il.

But a few years ago, she started to feel tired, and her periods stopped. She chalked it up to getting older and the approach of menopause. “I just thought maybe I needed vitamins,” she says. But when unusually heavy vaginal bleeding began, Ogborn was worried. Busy with work and caring for her mother, she consulted the Internet instead of a doctor.

“I thought I had fibroids,” she says. “I made my own diagnosis, and that was wrong, wrong, wrong.”

Ogborn did have fibroids. But she also had cervical cancer that had become too advanced for surgery.


Her gynecologist told her to stay positive and gave her a referral to specialists at OSF Saint Francis Radiation Oncology. Ogborn’s cancer had spread to her lymph nodes but not her bones. Although her illness was advanced, effective treatment was available. “I needed chemotherapy and radiation immediately,” says Ogborn.

Her six-month treatment included 13 weekly chemotherapy sessions. In addition to chemotherapy, Ogborn received radiation treatments tailored specifically for her by James L. McGee, MD, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at OSF Saint Francis.


Dr James McGee MDUsing the sophisticated Trilogy radiotherapy system, Dr. McGee used some of the most advanced radiation techniques available to treat Ogborn’s cancer. OSF Saint Francis was among the first in the nation to use the Trilogy system, beginning in 2005. In July 2008 the system was upgraded to offer RapidArc treatments, which are much faster and more comfortable for patients than treatments that use more conventional equipment. Now, even elaborate treatments may take only two minutes to deliver.

“Radiation treatment can be a wonderful thing, if used carefully,” says Dr. McGee.

Ogborn’s tailor-made treatments ensured that she received the proper dose of radiation in the most effective way to fight her cancer. Ogborn received both external and internal (implant) radiation treatment. The implant treatment required a three-day hospital stay. Dr. McGee developed a custom-made device that dispensed radiation directly to her cancer continuously for 27 hours. She had to remain in bed during the treatment, with only limited visits from family and friends allowed.


Dr. McGee used the Trilogy system for Ogborn’s external treatments, which she received as an outpatient. The Trilogy system can break a radiation beam into thousands of tiny bits of varying intensities. This allows doctors to shape the radiation beams so that patients receive treatment only where it’s needed. The technology enables advanced cancers or those in difficult places such as the spinal cord or brain to be treated. In the past, some of these cancers couldn’t be treated successfully.

“Now we are able to zero in on the tumor,” says Dr. McGee.

Targeting tumors precisely produces far less spillover of radiation that could injure healthy tissue. The treatment is so exact that it even accounts for very small tumor movements as patients breathe. And with less risk of damage to nearby tissue, doctors can safely deliver higher doses of radiation that are more likely to destroy tumors. Ogborn had radiation treatments five days a week for several weeks. During treatment with the Trilogy system, patients lie down while part of the equipment rotates around them. Patients aren’t in an enclosed space during treatment, and no special preparation is needed by the patient. Before the treatment, however, doctors use scans to measure tumors and patients’ anatomy so that the treatment is accurate. Patients can go home immediately afterward.


After a second internal radiation treatment and a few more weeks of outpatient radiation treatments, Ogborn got a clean bill of health nearly one year later.

“It was a wonderful New Year’s present,” she says. She’s grateful to Dr. McGee and his staff for their care and compassion. “I took flowers to them,” she recalls. Ogborn has been cancer-free for nearly two years. She’s back at work and spent a busy summer in her garden, planting hibiscus and a miniature rose tree. She now has regular Pap tests and mammograms and pays close attention to her health.