Aspirus UW Cancer Center brings innovative, complete cancer care and treatment to central Wisconsin. Our center is an affiliate of the UW Carbone Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, giving us access to the expertise of the entire radiation oncology staff at UW Carbone Cancer Center. We offer our patients world-class cancer care in a beautiful, comforting setting that’s close to home.
Aspirus UW Cancer Center offers cancer patients complete, leading-edge cancer care. Convenient care and treatment includes oncology exams, diagnostic lab work and imaging scans, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, clinical trial participation, and more.
Aspirus UW Cancer Center was the first cancer center in central Wisconsin to offer helical TomoTherapy, a sophisticated and effective image-guided and intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Invented by scientists and oncologists at the world-renowned UW Carbone Cancer Center in Madison, TomoTherapy uses CT scanning plus highly targeted beams delivered from all possible angles to attack tumors and cure cancers with unprecedented precision. Because each beam angle includes a relatively small amount of radiation, the body's healthy tissue is unharmed, helping to minimize any pain or side effects from the treatment.
In 2011, Aspirus UW Cancer Center was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). We were just one of just 106 cancer care facilities in the nation to receive the award.
The CoC Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. It follows an on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a "Commendation" level of compliance with seven standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program within six areas of program activities: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical management, research, community outreach and quality improvement. Facilities earning the award must also receive a compliance rating for the CoC’s remaining 29 standards. The 106 cancer care facilities earning the Outstanding Achievement Award represent approximately 22 percent of the cancer programs surveyed in 2011.
At the time of the award, there were more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, representing 30 percent of all hospitals. CoC-accredited facilities diagnose or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients each year.
In 2011, Aspirus UW Cancer Center was granted a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
A facility receives a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation following an onsite evaluation during which the facility demonstrates a Commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach and quality improvement). In addition, a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards.
At the time of our accreditation, there were approximately 1,400 Coc-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, representing about 25 percent of all hospitals. Accreditation by the CoC is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. To maintain accreditation, facilities must undergo an on-site review every three years.
In 2014, Aspirus UW Cancer Center was recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), by successfully performing all required standards surrounding safe chemotherapy administration. The QOPI® Certification Program provides a three-year certification for outpatient practices that meet the highest standards for quality cancer care.
To become certified, oncology practices must submit to an evaluation of their entire practice and documentation standards. The QCP staff and steering group members then verify through on-site inspection that the evaluation and documents are correct and that the practices meet core standards in areas of treatment, including: treatment planning, staff training and education, chemotherapy orders and drug preparation, patient consent and education, safe chemotherapy administration, and monitoring and assessment of patient well-being.
Cancer clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new treatment. The goal of these studies is to find better ways to diagnose, treat or prevent cancer so that people can live better and longer. Many clinical trials use medications that have already shown hope of working better than the standard treatment. Often, studies involve adding a new medicine to a current treatment, or testing a new treatment against a current treatment to see which works better. People who take part in a clinical trial may be the first to receive a new treatment. Clinical trial patients are closely monitored by doctors, research staff, and other professionals.
Aspirus UW Cancer Center receives research support through our affiliation with the University of Wisconsin, allowing our center to offer research studies for a variety of cancer diagnoses. This allows our patients the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial without having to travel to receive care.
A clinical trial is not the right choice for all patients. The first priority in any clinical trial is the safety of the patient. As a result, each study has strict rules that doctors are required to follow when deciding if a patient can join the trial. These rules are called eligibility criteria. The reason for these criteria is to protect patients from receiving a treatment that may harm them. The following are often included:
Talk to Your Doctor. To decide whether a clinical trial is a good choice for you, talk to your doctor. He or she is the most familiar with your health and can tell you if there are any clinical trials available for someone with your type and stage of cancer. If the doctor offers a clinical trial, you will be given all the information for the trial through a process called informed consent. All of the details of the trial will be reviewed in detail with you. There will be an informed consent document that will tell you:
Before you sign up for a clinical trial, make sure you understand exactly what treatment is being offered and how it differs from the standard treatment available for your cancer. Ask any questions you may have about side effects, study schedules, costs or anything else. Our goal is for you to have the information you need to make an informed decision.
Cost Information. The informed consent will give you information on any medicines or tests that are paid for by the study. Often the study will cover the cost of any new drugs being studied. However you or your insurance may need to pay for other costs associated with study participation, including drugs that are already approved for use for your type of cancer. You are encouraged to check with your insurance provider for information about coverage for research procedures, and standard of care procedures. It may be helpful to talk with the research team about insurance coverage and questions you may have. For information about costs associated with clinical trials, go to http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials
Clinical Trials Available. Clinical trials are available through several groups, including:
If you have questions about additional research studies available at the University of Wisconsin, please contact UWCCC Cancer Connect at 800.622.8922 or 608.2620.5223, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For More Information. For more information regarding clinical trial participation, you can access the following internet resources:
Love Lights is an annual fundraiser of the Aspirus Riverview Auxiliary. Funds raised benefit the patients of Aspirus UW Cancer Center.
For $3 each, anyone can purchase a Love Light in honor or memory of a loved one. The lights shine throughout the holiday season on the Love Lights trees, located between Aspirus Riverview Hospital and Riverview Expressway. Love Lights may be purchased in the Aspirus Riverview Auxiliary Gift Shop at any time by individuals, organizations and businesses to remember or honor those who have had an impact on their lives and our community.
Everyone is invited to attend the Love Lights tree lighting ceremony at Aspirus Riverview Hospital on the Friday before Thanksgiving at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony includes light refreshments, music and readings by the winners of an essay contest for area fourth grade students.
Print a Love Lights order form.
Our oncology social worker helps patients and their loved ones cope with the stress related to a cancer diagnosis. She views individuals in a holistic way and with a strengths-based perspective, taking into account the whole person in his or her environment. Through a psychosocial assessment, she is able to identify individual needs.
For a patient with an initial diagnosis of cancer, meeting with our social worker can provide emotional support—help with decision making; someone to listen to their feelings of anger, fear or sadness, and someone to provide suggestions that may help the patient achieve a sense of control in his or her life. For patients with advanced disease, our social worker can provide help with decision making around life/death issues and be someone to listen to what they are going through and someone to support and comfort both patients and their loved ones.
Social workers are system experts and an integral part of the multidisciplinary team that provides the following services:
Our oncology social worker participates in the multidisciplinary meetings when a patient's treatment plan is discussed, contributing an assessment of the patient's needs. Every patient has the right to have at least one social work consultation. The patient may choose whether to see the social worker again. Although many cancer patients must cope with multiple environmental barriers in addition to their illness, the benefits of social work intervention can result in improved patient and family adjustment to illness, improved compliance with treatment, and an increased understanding of the illness and treatment regimen.
Hospice care is a special way of caring for individuals with terminal illnesses and their loved ones. Hospice care supports patients and their loved ones in effort to maintain comfort measures and help alleviate stress for the patient and caregiver. Hospice care focuses on the unique needs of patients and loved one, with special attention given to physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice care is special because it concentrates on care—not cure.
Hospice care strives to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the patient by addressing his or her unique needs. Hospice care emphasizes pain control, living life fully, and treating patients and loved ones as a unit. Hospice care can be provided in various settings, including the patient’s home, hospice houses, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. Where the care takes place depends on the personal needs and choice of the patient and his or her loved ones.
Hospice care may include:
Hospice care can be paid for in several ways: