Hospitals' cancer center in Normal wll double in size

Hospitals' cancer center in Normal wll double in size

NORMAL — A multimillion-dollar expansion project has been launched to double the size of the Community Cancer Center in Normal.

A joint venture of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and Advocate BroMenn Medical Center that opened in 1999, the cancer center serves more than 220 patients a day and is expected to continue serving more, its officials say.

Barbara Nathan, the center's executive director, said use of the center has been growing over the past 13 years as more people age and undergo cancer treatments.

"Thankfully we have a huge increase in the number of survivors, so that adds to increase in volume," she said.

Cancer center officials now project the use of this facility will grow by 7 percent a year over the next decade.

Expansion plans include adding 35,000 square feet, more than doubling the current size, and a two-story building addition for a new medical oncology wing, conference center and support spaces.

Plans also include a new waiting room and exam space for radiation oncology, a new food service area, an expanded open library and chapel and a commitment to keeping the wooded setting that surrounds the cancer center.

An $8 million capital campaign is under way for this project, with $2.5 million raised to date.

Nathan said work will start later this year, with construction time about one year for new construction and six to 12 months to remodel the existing spaces.

The cancer center draws patients from 11 central Illinois counties and eight states, Nathan said.

One treatment that draws patients from outside the area is the CyberKnife, she said.

The cancer center in Normal was the 11th site in the nation to use this robotic radiosurgery treatment that delivers high-dose radiation to tumors of the brain, spine, lung, pancreas, prostate, and bone metastasis anywhere in the body, Nathan said.

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