Cancer

Contact Information

Find a Doctor
Olcott Center 812.353.5669
Infusion Center 812.353.9392
Cancer Radiation Center Bloomington 812.353.2800
Cancer Radiation Center Bedford 812.353.2400

At Indiana University Health, our renowned and highly-trained cancer specialists provide comprehensive cancer treatment as part of Indiana’s largest cancer care network. Our multidisciplinary approach means that you receive care from many experienced health professionals including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic/interventional radiologists, surgeons, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, chaplains, social workers and pharmacists.

The Indiana University Heath Cancer Center in Bloomington provides multidisciplinary care, meeting the physical, spiritual and educational needs of you and your family. We understand that a cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. Our highly skilled physicians work with you to develop an effective treatment plan specific for your type cancer for your needs. Your plan may include treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Surgery is a standard component of many cancer therapies. Our board certified general surgeons and surgical specialists perform inpatient and outpatient procedures to remove tumors. Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital facilitates ten operating rooms that function as advanced multipurpose surgical suites.

Learn more by reading our 2014 Cancer Annual Report.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is one method used to treat cancer and it may be combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy uses special kinds of energy waves to destroy cancer cells or prevent cells from growing or reproducing.

The IU Health Cancer Center in Bloomington is an American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited Radiation Treatment Center and has three advanced linear accelerators with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and onboard imaging that allows our physicians to target cancer more accurately and treat it more aggressively.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy

IMRT is a noninvasive technique that delivers tightly focused radiation beams to destroy cancer without needles, tubes or catheters. It uses computer-generated images to sharply focus beams of X-ray energy that conform as precisely as possible to the outlined shape of the tumor treatment area.

The increased precision of IMRT minimizes the amount of radiation exposure to healthy tissues surrounding the cancer. Doctors are able to use higher doses of radiation, which increases the likelihood of successful treatment. The lower exposure to healthy surrounding tissues helps reduce the possible side effects of radiation treatment.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy

IGRT uses precise, computer-generated images to guide the radiation beam shape and delivery. IGRT technology combines real-time imaging capability with the precise radiation control of IMRT. Our new linear accelerators have advanced X-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging built in, which allows physicians to visualize cancer in real time and more accurately than ever before.

The IU Health Cancer Center in Bloomington offers RapidArc™, an innovative treatment technology for cancer. RapidArc is an intensity modulated arc therapy that combines the benefits of our current IGRT and IMRT technologies. Image guidance is performed just before treatment using a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) to align a three-dimensional (3D) target to the correct position. The radiation treatment is then delivered in just one 360-degree rotation of the treatment machine, which reduces the amount of time the patient remains on the treatment table.

Because RapidArc is able to precisely shape the radiation beam to the tumor, the healthy tissues surrounding the cancer receive less radiation, which can lead to fewer side effects following treatment. This is especially important when treating cancers of the head, neck and prostate.

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) allows the radiation oncologist to treat tumors located deep inside the patient or those located where no surgery is possible with pinpoint accuracy. During SBRT, we use a radiation treatment machine with specialized body immobilization/respiratory status monitoring equipment to deliver concentrated, highly focused radiation over the course of a few treatments.

Stereotactic Brain Radiotherapy (SRT) with Rapid Arc Technique

Stereotactic Brain Radiotherapy (SRT) allows the radiation oncologist to treat with pinpoint accuracy those small tumors located within the brain tissue where brain surgery is not possible. During SRT, we use a radiation treatment machine, custom-designed head immobilization device, and onboard CT scanner for image guidance to deliver concentrated, highly focused high-dose radiation via Rapid Arc technique over a course of three to five treatments.

Respiratory-Gated Whole Breast Radiotherapy for Left-sided Breast Cancer

Respiratory-gated whole breast radiotherapy with onboard CT-guidance for left-side breast cancer allows the radiation oncologist to treat left breast cancer only during a patient’s full inspiratory pause, which almost completely eliminates any heart tissue from being exposed to potential radiation scatter dose. Our center is the first center in Indiana to use this highly complex technique to insure maximum safety for our patients. 

Digital Mammography

Through a collaborative partnership, IU Health Bloomington Hospital, the Bloomington Hospital Foundation and Southern Indiana Radiological Associates came together to provide digital mammography to enhance the quality mammography services already available in our community. Four digital mammography units are now in use in our facilities.

A digital mammography exam is usually quicker than a traditional film-based exam and there is less of a chance you will be called back to retake your images. Digital images give better visibility of the breast, particularly near the skin line, chest wall and especially in women with dense breast tissue. Digital images are especially helpful for women with implants and for imaging patients with known abnormalities. Digital mammography offers other advantages, including a lower radiation dose, without a compromise in accuracy and ease of image access, transmission, retrieval and storage.

When breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and better odds of a full recovery. Early detection saves lives. If you have not already scheduled a mammogram through your primary care physician, obstetrician or gynecologist, you can call 812.333.7676 and select option one. An assistant there will take your call and walk you through the steps to get a mammogram appointment.

You can be assured that if cancer is detected, IU Health Cancer Center in Bloomington will be there for you and your family with advanced technology and dedicated healthcare professionals.

Infusion Therapy

Infusion services are provided by highly-trained oncology certified nurses with oversight from a board certified oncology pharmacist. Our staff works closely with oncology physicians to deliver safe, effective therapies targeted to treat your specific type cancer. With two infusion center locations, your treating physician will work with you to determine which location is best for you to receive treatment.

Olcott Center

Unique to the IU Health Cancer Center in Bloomington, the Olcott Center provides one-on-one education, weekly support groups and patient navigation for patients and their family members.

Registered nurse educators provide one-on-one education with clients and their family members. The Center offers an extensive lending library, weekly support groups, patient advocacy and some individualized financial assistance. Free educational talks and materials are always available to groups, schools, businesses and individuals.

All Olcott Center services are free thanks to Tee Up Against Cancer, grants, direct gifts and Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, Bloomington’s largest fund-raising run/walk organized by the Bloomington Hospital Foundation. Although a physician may refer you to the Center, you never need a referral to take advantage of our services. Located in Bloomington, the Center serves all of south central Indiana.

Call 812.353.5669 to access the following:

  • Free one-on-one counseling with oncology certified nurses, including inpatient visitation for patients and family members, as requested
  • Large lending library and brochure warehouse
  • Drop in support groups and monthly educational talks
  • GIRL Friend Fund for those with financial needs (provided by private donations and Tee Up Against Cancer)
  • Medical massage during cancer treatment
  • Subscription to the Olcott Center CONNECTION, a monthly newsletter about local cancer resources
  • Check-It-Out student cancer education program
  • Community/employee health fair visits and cancer speaker’s bureau
  • Free colorectal cancer screening kits
  • Annual skin cancer screening and prevention campaign, including free sunscreen distribution
  • Information about local opportunities, such as Camp Kesem

Clinical Trials

IU Health Bloomington Hospital patients have the opportunity to participate in various clinical trials. Our physicians offer you research opportunities that may benefit your own care, as well as provide information needed to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer in the future. For more information about clinical trials, call 812.353.5494.

Additional Contact Information

Indiana University Health Olcott Center
619 West First St.
Bloomington, IN 47403
Get Directions

Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital Infusion Center
601 W. Second St.
Bloomington, IN 47403

Indiana University Health Cancer Radiation Center
2620 Cota Dr.
Bloomington, IN 47403

Indiana University Health Cancer Radiation Center
9149 State Rd. 37
Bedford, IN 47421

Cancer Patient Stories

  • J.C. Hulls

    Tonsillar Cancer

    J.C. Hulls's Story

    Basketball (specifically, Bobby Knight) brought a young J.C. Hulls to Bloomington–J.C.’s father was an assistant coach for Bobby Knight. In high school at Bloomington North, J.C. proved his…


    View Full Story
  • Jeff Holland

    Prostate Cancer

    Jeff Holland's Story

    At the beginning of 2010, 52 year-old Bloomington resident Jeff Holland was in the prime of his life. The long-time Monroe County 4-H Director enjoyed his job, playing basketball with his friends and giving…


    View Full Story