I’ve learned that for better or worse, when it comes to cancer, things rarely are as they appear to be. After all, cancer is tricky. And each person’s cancer is unique to them. The treatment regimen that works for one person may or may not work for another person. Test results (again for better or worse) often times come back differently than expected. That’s just the nature of cancer.
But there is something in the world of cancer that truly IS what it appears to be… The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). CTCA practices personalized cancer care with an integrative team approach, and they do anything they can to make the journey a little easier and a little lighter, with the hope of making the end result more successful. I have to say that I was really impressed (a feat not easily accomplished might I add) after spending 2 days at their Phoenix Center.
Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…
A couple of MAJOR things really impressed me:
* CTCAwill fly the patient & caregiver out to one of their 4 (soon to be 5) facilities for an initial consultation FREE of charge. And CTCA arranges & pays for all travel expenses for the patient for all subsequent treatments & appointments.
* Every patient at CTCA gets a team of at least 5 professionals assigned to care for them including a medical oncologist, clinic nurse, registered dietitian, naturopathic clinician and nurse care manager. Of course, surgical specialists, radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists, etc. will also become part of the team if their areas of expertise are required. And get this, they all talk to each other and create a joint plan of action together. Each doctor and specialist comes to your waiting room.
* CTCA takes a personalized approach to treating cancer. They will run genetic and biomarker testing on tumors when needed. They will prescribe off-label drug treatments (drugs that are not part of the standard protocol) if the standard of care is not doing the job. Of course, there needs to be evidence supporting it’s use though.
* Anyone who has undergone any sort of cancer treatment knows that finding satisfying foods that nourish the body can be a huge challenge. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 20% of cancer patients die from malnutrition. CTCA chefs & nutritionists work with patients to make sure they stay nourished with made-to-order smoothies (Detox Delicious is my favorite GREEN smoothie) and healthy meals made from 100% organic ingredients that rival some of the finest restaurants. (It ain’t typical “hospital food” that’s for sure). Plus special dietary needs will be accommodated. Oh, there’s Starbucks coffee too.
* CTCA accepts most insurances (not medicare or medicaid though). All costs are pre-determined so there will be no surprise charges. Acupuncture, reiki, chiropractic and other mind-body work are included, even if these services are not covered by your insurance carrier.
* CTCA offers cutting edge, treatment options and state-of-the-art technology (Cyberknife, TomoTherapy®, Cord Blood Transplants, Calypso® 4D Localization System™/GPS for the Body® genetic & molecular profiling & much more).
* Then there’s tons of other super nice amenities offered including: on-site pharmacy; on-site boutique specializing in wigs, head shavings, head coverings & mastectomy products- all sold at 30% below retail; on-the-premises spa; visiting hours are 24×7; really nice hospital rooms that are ICU-capable and nearby subsidized hotel rooms for approximately $40 a night; massage & pampering for caregivers; only green products are used to clean the center; all medical records & results are 100% digital; really nice infusion bays; pet therapy dogs, free laundry services; the list goes on and on.
* Once active treatment is complete, CTCA Survivorship Program lends support to survivors as they get back into the swing of things.
THE BOTTOMLINE: CTCA treats every patient as a person, not a number. They take personalized cancer care to a new level…
p.s. The President & CEO of CTCA Phoenix is an 8 year sarcoma survivor… how fabulous is THAT!