Topic: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Hi,

Mom mentioned today that she wondered about Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  I was wondering if anyone had any experience or thoughts about them.  We live in Indiana, and there is one in Illinois. 

Any advice would be great!!

Thanks so much,
Amy

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Roma35 dad went to Cancer Center of America in Ill. You may want to jot her a line.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Hi Amy,
I have mixed opinions of CTCA.  I do like their  philosophy that they don't put an expiration date on someones life(or something to that effect) and they don't turn away any Cancer patient by saying "there is  is nothing we can do", I think that is great that they give  a lot of people hope and I think they have much success with many cancers.  In my fathers case, we went there b/c our other Oncologist said that she wouldn't treat his lung mets b/c there was no real proven treatment for them, and any kind of chemo given to him would weaken him more and destroy any quality of life that he had left.  She said he could probably live another six months decently without any treatment.  My dad didn't want to hear that, he wanted to do something to fight.  So I got  a hold of CTCA and they were very receptive to seeing him.  Unfortunately after reviewing all his cat, pet tests, they didn't have too many treatment options.  The doctor reccomended Xoleda, and he wanted to give it a try.  After 3 months the Xoleda didn't work, infact it really kicked his butt.  He had had  resection and was allready compromised in his internal organ area with scar tissue and hernias and after the first week of Xoleda, he suffered tons of abdomenal pain, and it has never gone away.
Given my fathers age, and history, I guess I wished the Onc at CTCA would have also suggested to do nothing with the lung mets.  Even at the time, I felt that way.  Given CTCA's attitude on thier website and commercials, I didnt feel our Oncologist was positive at all, infact she pretty much said, that Xoleda is used for breast cancer patients, and has had "some" success with lung mets, but not too much.....
I always think second and third opinions are good, so I would definitly consider taking the trip to Illinois, but if they have the same treatment options where you are at, I would stay where you are.
I will say, for what it is worth, the hospital is beautiful and the staff is incredibly accommodating, and in your case they will find you a hotel and shuttle you back and fourth.  They treat every cancer with alternative medicine as well, so those are all bonuses.
Good Luck

The  Lord is my shephard

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

When my Mom was first diagnosed, I called CTCA. They were extremely optimistic on the phone about what kind of treatments they could do. We were really excited and ready to go, we were just waiting on a call as to when her appt. would be.
Two weeks later, after I had left several messages with our "case worker", we were told her insurance would not cover treatment at thier facility. We were basically told "too bad" and not offered any other suggestions. At the time, we knew nothing about what to do or where to go next, so we were extremely upset and dissapointed. We had put all of our eggs in one basket.
Her insurance told us the reason they wouldn't cover treatment there is because they charge 300% more for traditional treatments than the major cancer centers. Your experience may be different, and I may feel differently if we had gotten in the doors. I just have sour feelings because they were very indifferent after finding out about her insurance at a time when we were all so emotioally fragile.

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Hi Robyn....  I called CTCA approximately 4 or so years ago and got the same type of response.  They are a private for profit business medical facility.  Yes, they have state of the art medical equipment and offer the whole person treatment philosophy.  I today don't regret moving on as most of your major cancer centers offer the same services, they just don't advertise to get you in the door, to pay for pretty expensive buildings.  In this particular case I don't blame Insurance companies to look the other way.  It's a shame they can't just let you know up front and not leave people hanging like in your case.  Oh! how the world revolves around the greedieness of money.  I'm so sorry you and your Mom had to go through what you did.
Bless You Both,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Jeff, I'm sorry to hear you got the same response. It is so sad that our health care system is all about the money. Some times I think that the countries that have a national healthcare system may have the right idea, but I'm sure there are drawbacks with that also.

I hope you're doing well. I read all of your posts and think of you often.
Keep on taking it to the limit, one more time!!

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

I am in the UK where I'm sure you know we have a National Health Service which has its detractors for a variety of reasons but my experience of it is once they have diagnosed a disease and deal with it the level of care is unparalleled. Before during and after my surgery all levels of care were absolutely amazing.

We also have private health which I am taking advantage of for my chemotherapy, the amount of drugs and options available are more numerous than the NHS, as some drugs are not available (but saying that some operations, such as my liver resection are not carried out privately). It is also, provided you have insurance, much quicker a process. Please be aware I am not criticising the NHS at all, I was so thankful for all the care given to me during my recovery.

I have the best of both worlds since I have taken advantage of both options (I have private insurance through my employer). I feel sorry for everyone who cannot get the highest levels of care due to the simple fact of money, it is in my opinion disgraceful, but a sign of the times.

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Hi everyone,

Thank you for all of your honest responses.  I wish that there was a "miracle" cure out there where we could just snap our fingers and things be fixed.  So many decisions.......

Amy

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Robin,
I am sorry you got the cold shoulder from CTCA, when they ran into coverage issues.  I have heard that story before about them, and it is really disheartening.  Money talks in every aspect of every business.   Unfortunately cancer is a "business" as well.  One of the first questions they asked me at CTCA was about insurance, and when I said my father had medicare and Blue Cross, we had an appointment scheduled immediatly. 
In the case of my fathers CC and their treatment recomendations, they weren't "cutting edge" at all, infact our ONC was kind of a downer from the first appointment.  They do offer alternative therapy as well as spiritual, but so do many other hospitals. 
Take care
Barbara

The  Lord is my shephard

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Barbara, you're so right about cancer being a business. I hate to sound like a conspiracy nut, but I honestly believe if there wasn't so much money to be made in cancer treatment, there would've been a cure a long time ago.

Amy, I know what you mean about wishing for that miracle cure. I can't count the times i've wished for that since my mom's diagnosis. I still feel like it's a bad dream that I'll wake up from. Mom is interested in alternative medicine so along with her chemo, we're doing diet and supplements also. She's only had one scan since starting chemo, and she did have some tumor shrinkage. She goes back for another scan this month, so we're praying and keeping everything crossed that we get some more good news! smile
My prayers and thoughts are with ya'll.
Robyn

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

I read a book recently entitled "A world Without Cancer", and it was all about  the government, pharmecueticals,sp? and medical association, knowing there is a cure to cancer, and wont reveal b/c of the revenues to these establishments that would be lost.  Apparently billions.  The arguements in the book are very convincing...makes one think.

The  Lord is my shephard

Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America???

Thank you for all of your responses.  It was so funny, today while we were at the dr we ran into another cancer patient who had recently been to the Cancer Treatment Center of American near Chicago.  Mom asked her what her thoughts were.  She said that they made her feel very "special," in that they pampered her, but they weren't able to help her cancer.  She doesn't have cc, but she has another rare form.  I can't remember the name, but it had to do with her bones.  Her husband said that they felt like it was an assembly line.  They feel like an actual person at the hospital we go to.  Think that we should stick with what we have.

Thank you again for all of your honest responses.  What would we do if we didn't have each other to ask????
Amy