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Clinical Services at Rush Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose the Orthopedic Cancer and Transplant Program?


The Orthopedic Cancer and Transplant Program at Rush University Medical Center is a nationally recognized leader in diagnosing and treating all types of bone and soft tissue cancers, with one of the nation's largest and most sophisticated musculoskeletal programs. Our health care specialists are highly skilled at saving limbs and lives, using complex surgical reconstructive techniques and advanced technology. As part of comprehensive cancer care at Rush, we have customized treatment programs and provide extensive patient support and seamless integration of all programs and services. We provide immediate care and onsite imaging.

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How much time do you spend on patient education?

We will spend time with you, reviewing your individual treatment program in detail from how it works to how it will affect your daily life.

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What should I bring with me to my first appointment?

Please bring all related medical records, biopsy slides and actual studies (CT and MRI), which can be placed on a disk.

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What are limb-sparing treatments?

Our ultimate goal is to kill the cancer and save the limb. Limb-sparing treatments include surgeries involving advanced fixation techniques that keep the transplant in place, human bone transplants, bone graft substitutes, bone growing proteins, free tissue transfers, soft tissue grafting and modular oncology joint devices and prosthesis. We are also one of the few medical centers in the area performing the highly specialized microsurgery that is unique and specific to limb preservation. Self-lengthening implants for children are an essential tool in pediatric bone cancer treatment because they can be lengthened as young people grow with no need for more surgery. Steven Gitelis, MD, who leads the orthopedic cancer team, is a medical pioneer and national leader in orthopedics. He performs the most limb-sparing surgeries in the area, including the pediatric self-lengthening implants.

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How do you determine a treatment plan?

A customized treatment plan is based on the age of the patient, type of cancer, and how much the cancer has progressed.

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What is the difference between primary bone cancer and metastatic carcinoma?

Primary bone cancer means that cancer cells start in the bone and metastatic carcinoma means the cancer has spread to the bone from other sites, such as the breast, kidney or lung.

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What will I be able to do after treatment?

Our goal is to enable you to return to your important activities, whether its walking, biking, swimming, golfing or dancing.

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What types of research do you do?

We are dedicated to treating children who have cancer and are involved in research that helps find new ways to prevent and treat it. As a member of the Children's Oncology Group, we are continually involved in research that's dedicated to childhood cancers. In addition, we consistently conduct translational research with children and adults enabling us to develop new tools and put into practice new treatment techniques and methods.

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Who is involved in my care?

Our comprehensive team of dedicated clinicians and health care professionals covers many specialty areas. It includes physicians, surgeons, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, orthopedic technologists, registered nurses, certified athletic trainers, imaging technologists and medical assistants as well as a fellowship program. We are all here to provide you immediate and comprehensive care, while supporting you throughout your treatment and rehabilitation.

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Are there ways to reduce side effects?

Your doctor and clinical team will work with you to manage any side effects that you may experience. We also offer complementary integrative medicine services that allow you to take part in yoga, massage therapy and psychological counseling, which can help with potential side effects.

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Do you offer any support services?

The Orthopedic Cancer and Transplant Program is part of Rush's comprehensive cancer care, which offers many different kinds of support services, including counseling, complementary and integrative medicine such as acupuncture, biofeedback, massage therapy and yoga, a Patient Navigator who is a licensed clinical social worker from the American Cancer Society, support groups and a wellness resource center.

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How long do you follow up after treatment has ended?

We will follow up with you throughout your treatment and rehabilitation and for the rest of your life.

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Where is the Orthopedic Cancer and Transplant Program located?

We are at 1611 W. Harrison St. at Ashland Avenue, just south of the Eisenhower Expressway. Parking is available in the main garage next door and connected by a bridge. We're close to the CTA's Blue Line stop between Damen Avenue and Paulina Street, and the Pink Line stop at Polk Street.

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How do I schedule an appointment?

Please call us toll-free at (888) 352-RUSH (7874). 

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Contact Name
Orthopedic Cancer & Transplants
Contact Phone
(888) 352-RUSH
Contact E-mail

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