It is estimated that about 1.9 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021. Cancer is scary for anyone, but its treatment can be even scarier. In cancer treatment, the cancer center you choose can make a huge difference in your outcome. There are many cancer centers out there, and all of them have different cancer treatments available. Thus, you have a lot of options when it comes to finding which cancer center is best for you.
When choosing a cancer center, it's always good to consider the following factors:
1. Proximity to Home or Work
This is especially important if you receive your chemotherapy via infusion or orally, as you will have to go back and forth to the facility for treatments. If you're planning on having surgery at the facility, it's also wise to look into how long it will take you to get there. If your transportation is unreliable, consider working with the center's therapists to create an in-home exercise program so that you can remain strong and independent during treatment.
2. Payment Plans or Health Insurance Coverage
In addition to physical travel time, you'll want to focus on financial factors when choosing a cancer treatment center. Many centers offer payment plans to make treatment more affordable, while some insurance companies cover 100 percent of costs. A majority of the time, you won't be expected to pay full price for care, but it's always wise to understand your financial responsibility in advance.
3. Multidisciplinary Approach
Depending on the type of cancer you have, your care team will likely consist of several experts. When choosing a center, look for one that takes an integrative approach to treatment. For instance, if the center only uses radiation therapy when treating your condition and that is not your first choice, you might want to consider another option. A high-quality treatment facility makes use of all appropriate therapies in combination with the right medications to provide you with the best possible care.
4. Education and Research Initiatives
It's wise to choose a cancer treatment center that invests in education and research initiatives. Not only will you be getting expert medical care, but you'll also have access to potential future treatments as they are currently being developed.
Once you know what types of therapies the center offers, consider the quality of life it provides for its patients. A high-quality center won't just focus on health, but also integrate wellness and healing into the process. After all, quality of life shouldn't end once diagnosis occurs.
Though it's important to spend time thinking about your options for treatment centers, don't waste too much time making a decision. However, choosing the right cancer care team can be one of the most important decisions you'll ever make for yourself and your family because it impacts every aspect of the treatment outcome.