July 5, 2021

Cancer care, closer to home: How UW Carbone’s network of clinics reach patients where they are

Red brick and windows from the exterior of UW Health Cancer Center Johnson Creek

Madison, Wis. — Mike Nelson wasn’t exactly looking forward to spending an hour in the car each weekday driving to and from Madison for radiation appointments.

The 70-year-old Cambridge, Wisconsin resident had already undergone two rounds of chemotherapy to treat his pancreatic cancer. The chemo took a physical toll on his body, and with surgery seemingly off the table, radiation appeared to be the next best option for treatment.

As a patient at the VA Hospital, and subsequently the UW Carbone Cancer Center, Nelson was used to making the occasional trip into the capital city for care and fully expected he’d be doing it more often.

So when radiation oncologist Newton Hurst, MD, asked him where he’d like to receive his radiation treatments, Nelson was surprised. “The only place I knew of was right here,” he said. “I thought I was going to have to come into Madison every day.”

But Hurst offered Nelson another option: daily radiation appointments at UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek.

Many patients like Nelson are surprised to learn that when it comes to receiving the excellent cancer care that UW Carbone is known for, there are options potentially closer to home. Through regional partnerships with other healthcare organizations, patients across South Central Wisconsin and Northern Illinois have access to a handful of cancer clinics with a full range of services – all backed by UW Carbone.

This includes UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek, Beloit Cancer Center, UW Health Cancer Center at ProHealth Care in Waukesha, and SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center in Rockford, Illinois.

On top of providing a full range of care services for most types of cancer, each location offers comprehensive patient education materials and ‘real-time’ second opinions with physicians in Madison. Patients also have opportunities to participate in clinical trials, at their home clinic, through the Wisconsin Oncology Network.

For Nelson, he jumped at the opportunity to receive care at Johnson Creek. It nearly cut his driving distance in half, with the roughly 50 mile trip to Madison and back becoming a 30 mile round trip for care in Johnson Creek. Over the course of three weeks of radiation treatment, that added up to about 300 miles saved – a full tank of gas, and then some.

As an added bonus, it also meant no Interstate or Beltline driving, and much less traffic. “I just hop on Highway 18, take that to Highway 26, and the clinic is right there,” he said.

As for the care itself, it’s nothing short of what you’d expect from the only comprehensive cancer center in the state of Wisconsin. Just ask Nelson.

“The treatment I got from Dr. Hurst and the nurses and techs out at Johnson Creek has just been wonderful,” he said. “They have treated me very well, they have been very informative and involved and very personable. I really appreciate the personal care that they have been giving me.”

NOTE: Click here for a full listing of oncology clinic locations, along with services offered and contact information.