Home to Chicago's first dedicated oncology unit, Mercy Hospital has a long history of excellence in cancer care. Today, that commitment continues with a new, state-of-the art Cancer Center and attentive, patient-focused programs and services. From prevention to early detection and treatment, Mercy remains first in Chicago for cancer care.

Pioneering cancer treatment
In 1977 Mercy opened the city's first oncology unit and the hospital quickly established itself as a leader in cancer therapy. Led by longtime Director of Radiation Therapy, Jen-Hung Chao, MD, an early pioneer in radiation therapy, Mercy achieved many firsts in cancer treatment.

In 1991, for example, Mercy became the first hospital in Illinois to offer stereotactic radiotherapy for the brain. Stereotactic radiotherapy is a very precise form of radiation therapy that delivers multiple, small doses of radiation directly to the tumor inside a patient's head. Delivering multiple, smaller doses can minimize side effects.

New Cancer Center
Today, Mercy continues to treat many kinds of cancer at the newly constructed Cancer Center. Here, a multidisciplinary team of primary care physicians, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and radiologists work collaboratively to provide superior, personalized cancer care. And the latest technology and diagnostic tools help physicians detect cancer in its earliest stages, when it's more treatable.

The new Cancer Center centralizes the hospital's cancer specialists into one area, facilitating communication between physicians and creating a more manageable and navigable experience for patients. The Cancer Center also features the hospital's new linear accelerator, a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that allows doctors to deliver very precise and effective radiation therapy.

Prestigious accreditation
Accredited by the American College of Surgeon's Commission on Cancer, Mercy's Cancer Center delivers a standard of excellence on par with the largest and most well-known hospitals in Chicago, but in a smaller, more personal setting.

In order to receive the accreditation, a hospital must offer the full range of diagnostic and treatment services, on site or by referral. The members of the medical staff must be board certified in the major medical specialties, including oncology, and must participate in clinical research. As a teaching hospital, Mercy specialists help train and mentor future leaders in cancer treatment, and patients benefit from the advantages of a teaching environment in a community hospital setting.

Caring for the whole person
At Mercy, care is never delivered just to a patient; it's provided to a person, each one unique and with individual needs. Mercy's cancer specialists work to ensure all of a patient's needs—physical and emotional—are met.

One of the first hospitals in Chicago to offer complementary treatments to cancer patients, Mercy offers women going through cancer treatment the innovative Whole Women, Whole Health program. Whole Women, Whole Health provides free massage, acupuncture and yoga services to women who have completed their breast cancer treatment.

From its pioneering and early commitment to cancer care, through the construction of a new state-of-the-art Cancer Center, Mercy remains a local leader and innovator in cancer detection and treatment. Learn more about Mercy's Cancer Center.