How Do I Choose the Best Cancer Treatment Center?

D. Nelson

A cancer treatment center is an institution where cancer patients can go for therapies and exams designed to slow or stop the growth of cancer. The process of choosing the best cancer treatment center is normally performed by a patient, though in many cases a patient may request the help of a loved one. Any serious illness can cause a great deal of stress on a patient and his or her family, so having someone help you to make important decisions can relieve some of that stress. It can also be hard to think clearly when choosing a center since stress can lead individuals to make hasty conclusions or decisions that have not been thought through properly. To choose the best cancer treatment center, it can be a good idea to use special resources for cancer patients, consult with physicians, and consider location and ease of access of a center.

A cancer treatment center might used linear accelerators to target cancer with radiation.
A cancer treatment center might used linear accelerators to target cancer with radiation.

In most regions, individuals have access to resources published and maintained by organizations dedicated to fighting cancer. These organizations tend to be headed by cancer specialists and can usually be accessed free of charge. In the United States, for example, the National Cancer Institute provides annually updated lists of cancer centers that are located all over the country. These lists may also contain the names of top doctors at each clinic.

Consumer advocacy groups also tend to release rankings of cancer treatment centers. These groups often refuse advertising and funding from sponsors, so their studies are considered some of the most objective by many experts. It can be a good idea to research some of the centers on these lists and determine which factors might separate the best cancer treatment center from some of the others.

When you are researching centers, keep in mind that there are different kinds of cancer. Some centers may have reputations for fighting one particular kind of cancer, such as breast or prostate cancer. The best cancer treatment center might be one that has a reputation for providing the best treatment for the kind of cancer that you are dealing with.

Many patients find that it is helpful to consult physicians prior to deciding which treatment center to use. A physician who has worked with you in the past might have some insight regarding which methods and environments might fit your personality and allow you to feel most comfortable. A physician can also help you to remain calm and make a sound and logical decision.

Location is another important factor when it comes to choosing the best cancer treatment center. It is important that getting to a center does not add to your stress. Remember that you may have to visit a center several times a week, so make sure that these trips will cause as little aggravation as possible.

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