Leading Cancer Technology

The best cancer care means having access to the most advanced technology available.

In addition to traditional surgical options you expect from many hospitals, the Sparrow Herbert-Herman Cancer Center also offers the most advanced surgical options available for patients. Some of these include minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgeries for those with gynecological and urological oncology needs.

In fact, we are the first cancer center in mid-Michigan and one of the first in the state to use the da Vinci robotic system for gynecological and urological surgeries. This technology results in smaller incisions, shorter stays, less blood loss and significantly improves recovery times. With a team of 20 surgeons, registered nurses and surgical technologists who have intensive training in the da Vinci system, Sparrow’s program is a robotics pioneer in Michigan.

In radiation therapy, the Sparrow Cancer Center provides both permanent and temporary radioactive implants along with external beam radiation therapy. The implant program was the first in mid-Michigan to treat prostate, gynecological, and pulmonary cancers. Radioactive implants can place low levels of radioactive material in the tumor. This technique reduces the amount of radiation to the patient, while precisely treating the cancer. Sparrow was one of the earliest centers to incorporate the Mammosite catheter for breast treatment. This technique has reduced the length of time patients need to go through their treatments.

In external beam radiation, the Sparrow Cancer Center was the first in mid-Michigan to treat using Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). This complex treatment is only possible with the advancement of 3D Image Guidance Radiation Therapy (IGRT) that is the best process to guide the precise IMRT treatments. Combining IMRT with IGRT allows the accurate deposit of higher radiation doses to the tumor while protecting more of the patient by reducing its side effects with smaller more concentrated doses.

Sparrow Hospital has always striven to bring practical improvements to cancer care. These improvements include a research relationship with TomoTherapy, which has resulted in Sparrow becoming the first clinical site in the world to treat with TomoDirect.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a camera that produces powerful images of the human body and allows the physician to see what is happening inside your body. PET/CT is a non-invasive procedure that provides unique information about the body's metabolism, cell function, and exact location of a disease - information not available through CT or MRI alone.

If the lesion cannot be felt by hand, a stereotactic needle biopsy can be done. Special equipment will take x-rays of your breast from different angles. This equipment enables the physician to place the needle precisely into the tumor, even if the tumor is as small as a pea. Calculations are done by a computer to find the exact spot of the lump.