SwedishAmerican Breaks Ground on New Cancer Center

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- So far this year there's been nearly 66,000 new cases of cancer in Illinois and a new Stateline cancer center is expected to make treatment a little easier for patients.

Right now it's just dirt but by next year the land on North Bell School Rd., just south of Riverside Blvd. will become the SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center. Doctors say the outpatient facility will make treatment easier for patients.

"We'll have medical oncology, radiation therapy and all the support services that go along with it under one roof rather than multiple locations," said Dr. William Schulz, an oncologist with SwedishAmerican.

Cancer survivor Elaine Breck knows how stressful treatment can be.

"You have a lot of emotions you're dealing with, you have to make a lot of decisions and at that point you're running from doctor to doctor's office, back to the hospital for further tests. To have the assessment and treatment facilities under one roof will make it so much easier for cancer patients and their loved ones," said Breck.

Patients will also have access to more kinds of treatment like holistic services, thanks in part to project partner UW Health.

The center will also ease some economic stresses by creating about 300 construction jobs and the equivalent of 104 full-time jobs by the center's fourth year of operation.

The cancer center will be mainly staffed by SwedishAmerican physicians, but specialists from UW Madison will also help with treatment sometimes. The $40-million project is expected to be completed by the last quarter of 2013.

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