Due to the social restrictions put forth by the CDC regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are making efforts to keep our patients and their family members SAFE, but we want to continue to provide the support that you need.
We will be providing a Virtual Coping With Cancer Support Group the first Tuesday of every month from 3-4 p.m. via a private group conference call. View more details here.
Visitor Policy: Cancer Care patients are permitted one (1) visitor to accompany them between the hours of 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more here.
Maybe it’s your mom, your best friend, your neighbor or your child’s teacher. Maybe it’s you. Cancer affects most of us at some point in our lives. When it does, Monument Health’s Cancer Care Institute is here for you.
The Cancer Care Institute opened in 1993. Located adjacent to Monument Health Rapid City Hospital, the Cancer Care Institute provides outpatient oncology services, supportive laboratory and imaging services, as well as services for related clinical research trials.
We believe strong communication between cancer specialists, family physicians, referring specialists and supportive service providers results in optimal cancer care. We continually review and update our techniques and technologies to provide leading-edge cancer therapies. Our long-standing relationships with nationally renowned research groups allow us to offer some of the latest emerging therapies.
Cancers we treat
- Bladder cancer
- Blood disorders involving cancer
- Breast cancer – female, male
- Colon and rectal cancers
- Esophageal cancer
- Gynecologic cancers such as endometrial, ovarian and uterine
- Head and neck cancers
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Approximately half of all cancer-related diagnoses involve surgery as the first course of treatment. Surgery can remove tumors and any nearby tissues suspected of containing cancerous cells. In some cases, surgeons will remove healthy tissues to keep the cancer from spreading. Surgeons may also remove lymph nodes near a tumor to determine if the cancer has spread.
Medical oncology refers to the treatment of cancer using chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biological therapy and newer targeted therapies. Medical Oncologists are board-certified cancer specialists that are uniquely qualified to manage the specific problems associated with cancer and cancer treatments. They are experts at determining which drug(s), surgeries and/or therapies should be used.
- The use of medicines to treat cancer. Years of testing and research have proven chemotherapy an effective cancer treatment for many different types of cancer. Chemotherapy may be used alone or with surgery and radiation depending on the cancer’s type and stage. Chemotherapy works by destroying cells that divide rapidly, such as cancer cells. Your medical oncologist will recommend chemotherapy treatments based on what’s right for you. Your physician will take into consideration your age, general health, and ability to tolerate potential side effects of chemotherapy. Most chemotherapy agents are given intravenously (IV) in which the agent is injected into a vein. Some chemotherapy may also be given orally as a tablet or capsule.
- Some types of cancers, including most breast and prostate cancers, rely on hormones to help them grow. Hormone therapy is used to keep cancer cells from getting or using the hormones they need to grow. Sometimes, surgery is used to remove organs that produce the hormones, such as the ovaries or testes. In other cases, oncologists use medications to stop or change the way hormones function.
Biological therapy (immunotherpy)
- Biological therapies are the newest types of medicines used to treat cancer. These agents attack specific “targets” on cancer cells without harming normal cells. Research using targeted therapies is ongoing, and a few agents are now available for use on patients not enrolled in a research trial. Targeted therapies may be used individually, or in combination with other chemotherapy agents.
Radiation Oncology refers to the use of radiation in the treatment of cancer, and is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It is effective in almost every part of the body. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation from X-rays, neutrons and other sources to destroy the ability of cancer cells to divide and multiply.
Radiation therapy is delivered one of two ways:
External radiation therapy:
- External beam radiation is the most widely used type of radiation therapy. The radiation is focused from a source outside the body onto the area affected by cancer. It is much like getting an X-ray, but for a longer time. External beam radiation may be used to treat large areas of the body or possibly more than one area such as the main tumor and nearby lymph nodes. External beam radiation is usually given in daily treatments over several weeks.
- TomoTherapy© is a state-of-the-art radiation delivery system that uses advanced technology to deliver targeted, precise doses of radiation specific to the tumor size, shape and location. TomoTherapy can treat difficult-to-reach tumors such as those in the spine, head, neck, prostate, lung, liver and brain, with new levels of accuracy.
Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy)
- Brachytherapy has the ability to deliver a high dose of radiation to a small area. The two main types of internal radiation are: interstitial (placed directly into the tumor) or intracavity (near the tumor). Implants may be permanent (low-does rate) or temporary (high-dose rate, or HDR).
Doctors & Providers
What People Are Saying
We are in the best possible care with Dr Aye. It was obvious from the beginning of our first visit that she is extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of her field. She is very kind and supportive and also very thorough in explaining everything to us so we understand all we need to know. My husband and I are so grateful to have her as my Oncologist.
The cancer center at Monument Health in Rapid City is absolutely a first class operation from top to bottom. Every single individual there is totally customer focused, and in the face of a very difficult time in your lives they make it as good as it can possibly be.
Doctor Azzouqa is also the best. He takes the time to explain everything, he takes the time to visit with you, and again, just like the staff, he makes you feel as good as you possibly can in a very difficult time in your life. 100% love this place.
Going to see an oncologist for a consultation is not a thing one expects or wishes to do. However, I left my meeting with Dr. Kuzman feeling, relieved, reassured, and comforted by his manner, his knowledge, and his competence. He listened to me and answered all of my concerns. I feel like my post-operative care is going to be handled with expertise and professionalism and I am no longer fearful of the process.
Caring, compassionate staff. Amazing how they most usually greet you with a smile. Don’t always have good news. But they try to make sure you understand options and choices.
I always feel at ease at the Cancer Care Institute at Monument Health. As a two time survivor and an extensive family history of cancer, I need that experience to be peaceful. Today I had my first appointment with Dr. Handcock as my previous medical oncologist had retired. Dr. Handcock was everything I thought he should be. He took time to listen and include my thoughts in my future care plan.