For more information, call: 877-CENTEGRA

Cary resident warns of smoking hazards

McHENRY – Cary resident Larry Head, 67, smoked for 30 years and although he hasn’t smoked for the past 17 years, he was diagnosed with throat cancer six years ago. He was also diagnosed with lung cancer in March of last year.

Five months ago, Larry and his wife Therese had no idea the Centegra Sage Cancer Center existed. Since Larry was diagnosed with throat cancer six years ago, they had been committed to another cancer treatment program. However, when Larry was diagnosed with lung cancer in March of last year, his internist recommended he see Apurva Desai, MD, at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center. Larry admits he was skeptical.

“I was comfortable in the other program; everyone knew me and it was close to home,”  Larry said. “Once I got to Centegra, though, I knew my experience was going to be just as good, if not better.” 

Larry and Therese were greeted at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center by a sea of smiling staff members, from the receptionist, to each nurse and doctor they encountered. They were also welcomed with an informational book that explained the facility, different medications, what to expect, even the kinds of food to eat during chemotherapy. Both Larry and Therese found the welcome extremely helpful and interesting, as lung cancer and chemotherapy, was new to them.

Both Larry and Therese marvel at the staff at Centegra: their smiling faces, acknowledging them by name and providing them quality care. Larry spends three to four days a week at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center receiving chemotherapy and says the staff at Centegra has made his experience a more positive one.

“I’ve realized that there are people worse off than I am,”  Larry said. “I have to be grateful for what I am still able to do, instead of focusing on what I can’t do.” 

Therese said, “We’ve put our lives in the hands of  Centegra Sage Cancer Center. We trust what they are doing and know we ultimately have each other, too.” 

National Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November provides Centegra Health System the opportunity to increase awareness and educate the community about all types of cancer. The Centegra Sage Cancer Center, located on the Centegra Hospital – McHenry campus, offers a complete continuum of care that includes testing, treatment and recovery, and aftercare support to cancer patients throughout the community.

Centegra Hospital – McHenry is recognized as having one of a few cancer programs in the state to receive the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Additionally, all the Centegra Sage Cancer Center nurses are oncology certified.

Free oral cancer screenings available
From 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Ted Hughes, DMD, oral and maxillofacial surgeon on staff at Centegra Hospital-McHenry, will provide a thorough exam of the mouth, oral cavity and facial area in an effort to detect any precancerous changes. This is a free screening for oral and mouth cancer and does not take the place of an annual exam by a personal physician.

Registration is required for the free oral cancer screening, the first time ever offered by Centegra Health System. Call 877-CENTEGRA (236-8347) to register. Space is limited.

Smoking Cessation classes offered

  • Centegra Health System offers a four-part class that recognizes the difficulties and stresses that come with quitting smoking. The goal of smoking cessation is to help participants become successful in this process and to teach new skills to cope with life’s stresses.
  • There is a $100 commitment fee due at the start of the program. However, if participants attend three out of the four classes, $50 will be returned to them. As an added bonus during the program, all participants also receive a temporary membership to Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center.
  • Smoking Cessation is offered at Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center – Crystal Lake and Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center – Huntley. To find out more information about days and times, or to register, call (815) 444-2900. Space is limited.