Maybe it’s your mom, your best friend, your neighbor or your child’s teacher. Maybe it’s you. Cancer affects most of us at some point in our lives. When it does, Regional Health’s John T. Vucurevich Cancer Care Institute is here for you.
The Cancer Care Institute opened in 1993. Located adjacent to Regional Health Rapid City Hospital, the Cancer Care Institute provides outpatient oncology services, supportive laboratory and imaging services, as well as services for related clinical research trials.
We believe strong communication between cancer specialists, family physicians, referring specialists and supportive service providers results in optimal cancer care. We continually review and update our techniques and technologies to provide leading-edge cancer therapies. Our long-standing relationships with nationally renowned research groups allow us to offer some of the latest emerging therapies.
Cancers we treat
- Bladder cancer
- Blood disorders involving cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colon and rectal cancers
- Esophageal cancer
- Gynecologic cancers such as endometrial, ovarian and uterine
- Head and neck cancers
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Approximately half of all cancer-related diagnoses involve surgery as the first course of treatment. Surgery can remove tumors and any nearby tissues suspected of containing cancerous cells. In some cases, surgeons will remove healthy tissues to keep the cancer from spreading. Surgeons may also remove lymph nodes near a tumor to determine if the cancer has spread.
Medical oncology refers to the treatment of cancer using chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biological therapy and newer targeted therapies. Medical Oncologists are board-certified cancer specialists that are uniquely qualified to manage the specific problems associated with cancer and cancer treatments. They are experts at determining which drug(s), surgeries and/or therapies should be used.
- The use of medicines to treat cancer. Years of testing and research have proven chemotherapy an effective cancer treatment for many different types of cancer. Chemotherapy may be used alone or with surgery and radiation depending on the cancer’s type and stage. Chemotherapy works by destroying cells that divide rapidly, such as cancer cells. Your medical oncologist will recommend chemotherapy treatments based on what’s right for you. Your physician will take into consideration your age, general health, and ability to tolerate potential side effects of chemotherapy. Most chemotherapy agents are given intravenously (IV) in which the agent is injected into a vein. Some chemotherapy may also be given orally as a tablet or capsule.
- Some types of cancers, including most breast and prostate cancers, rely on hormones to help them grow. Hormone therapy is used to keep cancer cells from getting or using the hormones they need to grow. Sometimes, surgery is used to remove organs that produce the hormones, such as the ovaries or testes. In other cases, oncologists use medications to stop or change the way hormones function.
Biological therapy (immunotherpy)
- Biological therapies are the newest types of medicines used to treat cancer. These agents attack specific “targets” on cancer cells without harming normal cells. Research using targeted therapies is ongoing, and a few agents are now available for use on patients not enrolled in a research trial. Targeted therapies may be used individually, or in combination with other chemotherapy agents.
Radiation Oncology refers to the use of radiation in the treatment of cancer, and is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It is effective in almost every part of the body. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation from X-rays, neutrons and other sources to destroy the ability of cancer cells to divide and multiply.
Radiation therapy is delivered one of two ways:
External radiation therapy:
- External beam radiation is the most widely used type of radiation therapy. The radiation is focused from a source outside the body onto the area affected by cancer. It is much like getting an X-ray, but for a longer time. External beam radiation may be used to treat large areas of the body or possibly more than one area such as the main tumor and nearby lymph nodes. External beam radiation is usually given in daily treatments over several weeks.
- TomoTherapy© is a state-of-the-art radiation delivery system that uses advanced technology to deliver targeted, precise doses of radiation specific to the tumor size, shape and location. TomoTherapy can treat difficult-to-reach tumors such as those in the spine, head, neck, prostate, lung, liver and brain, with new levels of accuracy.
Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy)
- Brachytherapy has the ability to deliver a high dose of radiation to a small area. The two main types of internal radiation are: interstitial (placed directly into the tumor) or intracavity (near the tumor). Implants may be permanent (low-does rate) or temporary (high-dose rate, or HDR).
Doctors & Providers
What People Are Saying
This is a new and terrifying experience. The doctors and staff in CCI are very nice and eager to answer any questions I have asked them. All are real friendly and knowledgeable. This makes this horrible situation easier for everyone. Thank you.
All the staff at the Cancer Center are WONDERFUL. They are kind, considerate, upbeat, and friendly. Same is to be said for the doctors.
The CCI is one of the best departments in the hospital. I went for a consult at Mayo Clinic and was told by the doctor I saw there that I was in “good hands” with Dr. Schroeder. That doctor said he is on a panel with Dr. Schroeder and had nothing but good things to say. It was very reassuring.