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Cancer Centers of America

baldwin
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2008

Hi,
Does anyone have any experience with the Cancer Centers of America? My husband has Stage 4 colon cancer and after meeting with an onc yesterday, we are exploring going to the Cancer Centers of America. Is anyone being treated by them or knows of anyone that is, and if so, what is your opinion of their care? An important consideration is that most insurance companies will not cover this and was wondering if anyone on this board is familiar with any insurance companies that do. Thank you for your advice.

Joanne

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

I know a guy whose Dad went to the CCTA Tulsa center - he seemed to like it and did ok there. They do offer Nutrition and Spiritual guidance there - those seem to be 2 components that may differ from another cancer center.

I called them one time and asked if they would work in conjunction with my other medical team...and could I do some stuff where I lived but come there to do stuff and take time off from work etc.etc.

The guy explained to me that since they pay for your lodging and transport, they are an all inclusive group and do not work outside of their facilities. It's all CCTA or nothing is the way it was explained to me.

Because I had to keep working, I declined their offer and stayed at my/then treatment center where I could go for scans and chemo, and still work everyday.

I simply had to work, and could not afford to be away for too long - and treatments can stretch out.

I want to think they accepted my insurance - it was Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

It's a tough call - after a phone call to them, it might help you make a decision, after you've sort of felt them out. They are a "for profit" cancer center and all inclusive - I just could not say if this would be all good or all bad.

I like options and was a little put off by the fact that they would not work with the other members of my medical team.

I'm wishing you all the best in your research and hope that whichever way you go, will be the best decision.

-Craig

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mar 2010

They would not answer direct questions, and seemed more interested in getting me to come to them than to find out anything about why I was calling (a rare cancer - needed to know if they had any experience.)

Didn't leave a good taste in my mouth. On the other hand, I know of people who were quite happy with them, I think because of the more holistic approach.

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I, too, have a rare form of colon cancer - appendiceal cancer or mucinous adenocarcinoma. Any chance you have the same kind? If so, what is your oncologist doing?

Debbie in Arkansas

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi, Debbie -

"Mucinous Adenocarcinoma of the Appendix with mets to ovary, omentum, peritoneum" yup, that's me. There's a summary description of what I went through in my blog on this site: "Yes, there is life after cancer". Is yours considered PMP also? Mine is not PMP.

Found as a tumor encompassing my ovary during a "routine" hysterectomy 3 years ago, I had a second surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering for placement of a belly port for Intraperitoneal chemo (IP, not heated). He found more tumor, so took part of my colon, my cecum, the rest of my omentum, and whatever else, along with placing the port. I was scheduled for 8 cycles of FUDR (a different metabolic version of 5FU) directly into the belly, to be followed by Folfox + Avastin. I got through 5 of the 8 cycles of IP chemo; 7 of 12 Folfox. I'm very sensitive to drugs, and my reactions were well beyond the norm. I stopped chemo 2 years ago tomorrow (Friday) (but who's counting!)

Next CAT scan is Monday. I'll see my surg and onc then as well, and get the latest.

Alice in Upstate NY

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

Cancer Centers of America was one place I called after I got diagnosed with appendiceal cancer (a very rare type of colon cancer). When my onc said it was not operable and I am only being treated to prolong my life by a few years I called several places. My insurace is TriCare (retired military) and they did accept it but would not accept me because of the kind of cancer it is. The way it seemed to me, they only wanted to accept you if they could for sure cure you.

Good luck to you and yours,
Debbie in Arkansas

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

His only regret was he waited until his cancer had progressed too far to be "cured". He had some personal wishes to see a few more things and they (he went to the one outside of Chicago)did a few amazing surgeries that gave him 2 more months then he asked for. Only those who knew and talked to him know how much that extra time meant to him.

He loved the way he and his family were treated and thought it was by far the best facility out of the 4 he had the experience.

I would go there in a heartbeat if I needed to!!!

Lisa P.

baldwin
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2008

I researched several insurance plans yesterday and think I have found one that they will accept. I am waiting to hear back from their financial controller. The facility that I am looking into is Philadelphia and wonder what the differences are in each facility. Meanwhile, my husband's onc wants him to start chemo again asap, because there are approx 30 nodules on both lungs and he is worried about what he "can't see". So, until we figure something out with Cancer Centers of America, we feel that chemo is our best option short term to try to get the cancer under control.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks,
Joanne

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

Joanne,

I think I read that the main difference between them were with the rare cancers where some offered treatments and others did not have the staff to. They all provided what I think is the most integrated cancer care there is in the US including nutrition, spirituality, acupuncture, and chiropratic services along with the usual chemo, radiation, surgery ones. They being in treating the whole patient not just their "cancer" which is new to western medicine. I remember Limey's partner talking about how wonderful they treated him and made him feel.

Please keep me posted on your experiece.

My thoughts are with you both!!!

Lisa P.

dschreffler's picture
dschreffler
Posts: 58
Joined: Apr 2010

My approach to selecting treatment was:
1) Is hospital a National Cancer Institute recognized cancer hospital
2) How do they rank nationally: http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings/cancer

For radiation and chemo , my local hospital had a good reputation, and I was only stage 3 so I stayed local. Surgery will be at Sloan or Hopkin's.

I see Cancer centers advertise, but have not seen statistical success rates. Interesting wiki info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_Treatment_Centers_of_America

Since I did not find them in my initial research and only learned of them thru their TV ads, I did not consider them as an option for me.

I'm sure you already are,so keep doing your homework on this on.. learn as much as you can before making the decision.
This american cancer web site and http://www.cancer.gov/ is full of info to be able to see if the Dr you are talking to is the right on.

Good Luck!!!

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