Norton Cancer Institute

Jill Conley

Confidence, kindness and love
define true beauty

At the age of 32, Jill Conley was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. A Norton Healthcare patient, she went into remission after a tough battle only to later learn her cancer was back and incurable.

Conley’s diagnosis did not dim her light. She has gained national and international prominence through her battle with cancer and her message of dignity, strength, inner beauty and love. She shared her story with many audiences, including a standing room-only crowd as the inaugural speaker in Norton Healthcare’s Go Confidently series, free events focused on inspiring people to realize their full potential through thoughtful discussions on health-related topics of interest.

Conley believes in her physicians and medical team and is confident in the quality of care provided by Norton Healthcare.

“Be confident and kind. These qualities are the essence of real beauty, which nothing … can erase.” – Jill Conley

Above video courtesy of Sue Bryce
Photo at left courtesy of Nikki Closser

For more on Jill Conley and her inspiring story, watch The Documentary Network’s “The Light that Shines.” Follow her through Paris as photographer and producer, Sue Bryce, captures a story about love.

Norton Cancer Institute adds new technology to meet patients’ needs

In 2013 Norton Cancer Institute – Downtown added the state-of-the-art TrueBeam STx radiosurgery system by Varian Medical Systems to keep pace with patients’ needs. The new technology is faster and more accurate, powerful and versatile than anything else available for radiation treatment in Kentucky.

“The TrueBeam STx allows us to refine and expand on what we’re doing already,” said Aaron C. Spalding, M.D., Ph.D., radiation oncologist and co-director of the Brain Tumor Center, a collaboration of Norton Neuroscience Institute and Norton Cancer Institute.

The TrueBeam STx can treat cancer anywhere in the body. It rotates around the patient to deliver a prescribed radiation dose accurately and precisely with great speed. The TrueBeam STx system is the latest and one of the most advanced radiotherapy technologies in the world for treating cancer.

In addition to its downtown location, Norton Cancer Institute has two other radiation facilities in Louisville, including Norton Cancer Institute Radiation Center – St. Matthews and Norton Cancer Institute Radiation Center – Northeast.

Breakthrough lung cancer surgery offers new hope

As one of the first sites in the country to perform a breakthrough lung radiation surgery, Norton Cancer Institute is offering new hope for lung cancer patients like Etta Taylor.

Taylor is just the fifth patient in Louisville to undergo a revolutionary new treatment called cesium-131 brachytherapy. The procedure is considered a lung-sparing surgery because only a small section of lung, where the cancer is located, is removed. This allows patients who previously were not surgical candidates an option for potentially life-saving treatment.

“The procedure uses a minimally invasive technique to remove a wedge of lung and insert a piece of dissolvable mesh that is implanted with radiation ‘seeds,’” said George J. Mikos, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon with Norton Cardiothoracic Surgery. “The patient then receives a continual dose of radiation over a period of time to remove any remaining cancer cells.”

In the past, lung cancer treatment commonly consisted of removing much of the lung. Elderly patients and those with serious health conditions could not tolerate such surgery. The new brachytherapy procedure allows physicians to offer hope for recovery to patients who did not have hope before.

Etta Taylor

Taylor, previously a smoker for more than 50 years, was diagnosed with lung cancer in spring 2013. She underwent her brachytherapy procedure in May 2013. It entailed just a few small incisions, which decreases the risk for blood loss and infection as well as aids in a quicker recovery.

“I was out of the hospital in three days and feeling good very quickly,” she said.