For years I’ve seen television commercials for The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). But are they really as good as they appear to be? I’ve visited their Arizona facility twice and I have to say, I think they might be that good. If nothing else, I’m impressed with the way they attack cancer (and I don’t get impressed easily ;-))…
Below are 10 reasons (listed in no particular order) of why I’m a huge fan:
1. Practice personalized medicine. CTCA treats each cancer as unique and tailor a treatment protocol to match each person’s unique needs and diagnosis. CTCA will run genetic and biomarker testing on tumors. They will even prescribe off-label drug treatments (drugs that are not part of the standard protocol) if the standard of care is not doing the job. They also take a proactive approach to treating side effects caused by cancer treatments.
2. Integrative team approach. 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. They work together to treat the entire person before treatment begins, during treatment and even after treatment ends. CTCA also employs licensed acupuncturists and massage therapists to help patients manage the side effects of treatment.
3. 100% focused on cancer. Need I say more?! BTW, approximately 65% of the people being treated at CTCA have advanced or complex cancers. They are used to tough cases. And they don’t give up.
4. Make having cancer a little less stressful. Schlepping from one doctor to the next; coordinating care and communications between different doctors and different hospitals; tracking down records, getting prescriptions, battling with insurance, etc. is downright exhausting. At CTCA, they do all this for you. You show up to your appointment and your team of doctors come to you.
5. Latest & greatest equipment. CTCA offers cutting edge, treatment options and state-of-the-art technology like Cyberknife, TomoTherapy®, Cord Blood Transplants, Calypso® 4D Localization System™/GPS for the Body®, Tuning Fork, genetic & molecular profiling & much more.
6. Nutritious & delicious food. If you’ve ever eaten hospital food, you know how much it sucks. Sorry, but it does. The food they serve at their facilities is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It’s all freshly prepared, made from organic ingredients whenever possible and inexpensive (I swear). Each facility has it’s own smoothie bar and serves Starbucks coffee (seriously). The Arizona facility even has it’s own organic farm.
7. Works with many insurance companies. CTCA works with many different insurances (typically 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.
9. Incredible amenities. 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; 24X7 visiting hours; really nice private hospital rooms that are ICU-capable with 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. They even throw parties to celebrate different milestones throughout this journey.
10. Survivorship programs. 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… They offer realistic hope to their patients. I wish we had looked into receiving treatment there for Alan.