CSN Login
Members Online: 20

Cancer Treatment Centers of America

MaxRudy
Posts: 56
Joined: Dec 2010

I am newly diagnosed with peritoneal carcinomatosis and since I don't see it as a listed choice, I'm putting myself under Ovarian Cancer as I've read that it is a similar cancer. Anyway, I'm looking for a good cancer center and have an appt at the Greenbaum Cancer Ctr in Baltimore (i live in VA). While researching, I came across the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and I recalled seeing a number of TV ads about them....basically, a very integrative approach to your whole body treatment. Does any one out there have any info or first hand knowlege of these centers? Thank you

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

The University of Virginia is conducting a clinical trial for women with ovarian or peritoneal primary cancer. You might give them a call.
Contact: Heather Lothamer, M.S.N., C.C.R.C.
Phone: 434.243.0315
E-mail: hll5y@virginia.edu

clynn13
Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2010

Sorry for your recent diagnosis I went to CTCA an for me it was a waste of time. I have good insurance and would rather go somewhere that Iam coverd 100%. It was a 3 day meet and greet with the departments. I did see the gyn/onc on the first day, what a wet noodle he was. I asked a SIMPLE question regarding my pathology report and he tells me "Oh, we will discuss that on the third day. Be mindful, just because you go there and see all the nice people and get all these free goodies, DOES NOT mean you will be ACCEPTED there for treatment. After the fact they will send you a bill. Now, I didnt finish the 3 day tour, as I was getting up to leave after the comment the doctor made, he RELUCTANLY answered my question. I left after that and neve went back. Shortly afterwards I reced a bill. I did not pay it yet because I wanted to see the detailed bill first. Then a month later I recd a different bill from the doctor visit. One from CTCA and one from the doctor(the dr. bill is a valid one) So, here I think they are trying to double dip with the bill. So, if a walkthrough with the patient advocate, a meeting withh the finanicial officer too sighn papers and a brief sit down with someone as soon as you come in and they give you a breifcase with all the information and contacts in it is being billed to me, Iam contacting the Attorney General Office. Its up to you if you want to go there, I would Highly reccommend against it. Your insurance would cover more if you goto a regular hospital. Also, there a a few inurances that do cover CTCA 100%, I just dont know who they are. Best to you clynn

survivingovca
Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2011

I'm sorry that you are facing a cancer diagnosis. It's great that you are doing some research! I recommend getting second, third, or fourth opinions - and wish I would have done that when I was first diagnosed.

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and started off with university level doctors/hospitals. Unfortunately, chemo did not work for me (Taxol/Carbo and then Doxil), and the doctors said that I would be in treatment for the rest of my, very shortened, life. Obviously that was not news I wanted to hear!

My husband found a clinical trial that seemed to be a good fit for my cancer and circumstances. It happened to be at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. We went there, and I have never looked back. I love their integrative approach for treatment. They looked at me as a person, and not just a 'tumor'. They checked my vitamin levels, nutrition, fitness levels, and found ways for me to strengthen my immune system and body so that I could better fight the disease. They found I was very deficient in some key vitamins - none of my other doctors even tested for that. They scanned, tested, analyzed, and even threw in a colonoscopy for good measure :). They treated my husband very well too.

We then met with the doctor (their gyne/onc in Chicago is a woman - and a cancer survivor herself) who pulled up the scan and showed us exactly what was going on. I loved getting that information. Then, she did the unthinkable - she gave us OPTIONS. Options that the university doctors did not give me.

I have not had any chemo or any treatment for a year now. My scans show no cancer (!!!!!), I feel great, and I'm moving forward. Obviously, I recommend CTCA!

I'm sorry the other commenter had such a bad experience. All hospitals need money to operate. Unless the US gets national healthcare, there will always be a discrepancy between the quality and cost of care provided at different places. CTCA was a bit more expensive - but not by a significant amount.

Good luck to you in your search for the best treatment.

jan pederson
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2011

I am sorry to hear that you have cancer and those words are so scary. Eight years ago I heard those words and I was in shock and after the surgery the Oncologist gave me 6 months to live.In the OR the surgeon removed an 2 pound tumor along with a gallon of fluid the tumor produced, which came to lossing 10 pounds in the OR. When I heard I had 6 months then I wanted to fight for my life and that was getting in touch with a team who could help me in that area. When I found Cancer Treatment Center of America they had all that I wanted and then some. They offered me the best medical and Gynecological Oncologist along with a team of Naturopath, Nutritionist, physical, psychological and spiritual therapies to help me fight this cancer..what more could I ask for. I was treated with fractionated dosage of chemotherapy, it's a powerful does of drugs in smaller doses given over several days which means it is stronger on the cancer and has fewer side effects. My local hospital (who gave me 6 months to live) gave me 2 treatments and I was sick and blood counts were lower compare to the treatements at CTCA. CTCA believes in treating the whole person not just the cancer they provide comprehensive, personalized treatment by fighting your cancer on many fronts. My Oncologist and clinicians came together to form a team assigned specifically for me with a complete prgram designed for my particular type of cancer. The past couple of years CTCA has given the ovarain cancer vaccine to their patients and have been successful. That is what you need to fight this ugly disease.

survivingovca
Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2011

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00660101?term=ovax&rank=1

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Jan....in your testimonial for CTCA, you say, "Shortly after, I went back to see the oncologist. He told me, as he was facing the wall, to find a cancer center for chemotherapy, and to “find it soon or you'll be dead in six months.”

I would just like to say that that is not only the most bizarre thing I have ever heard, but I think it borders on malpractice! An oncologist (presumably a gyn/onco, as it was the one who did your de-bulking surgery) who tells patients to find their own chemo center is an unbelievable ass and an extrememloy negligent physician! I have NEVER heard of such a thing!

I do have to wonder.....how many CTCA patients were referred there by a physician? Not necessarily an OB/Gyn or Oncologist, but any phisician. Looking thru all the many testimonials on their website, I did not find a single one, and that seemed like a bit of a red flag to me. But then, I am known for my skeptical nature.

The clinical trial being conducted at CTCA for an OC vaccine is not given to all OC patients. The criteria for the study is....

•Stage III or IV adenocarcinoma of ovary that has relapsed following original platinum-based chemotherapy followed by no more than 4 salvage chemotherapy regimens

Carlene

nancy591's picture
nancy591
Posts: 1059
Joined: Sep 2009

Clarity and truth is needed. I don't know why people have to mislead.

survivingovca
Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2011

I don't know of any clinical trial that is given to "all" Ovca patients. There are always inclusion and exclusion criteria that need to be met for any clinical trial.

I was not referred to CTCA by a doctor. However, when we asked my university gyne/onc before we went to CTCA, she was totally on board with it.

I only replied to this thread, because someone was asking for those who had experience with CTCA. My experience has been exceptional (and I am not a spokesperson - just a patient). I will always recommend it to anyone facing a cancer diagnosis. Especially for those that want to incorporate nutrition, a naturopath, mind-body medicine, and treatment to fight cancer instead of just chemo. It has been the right choice for me.

There seem to be a lot of bad opinions about the place from people who have never been there. Are the commercials that bad? LOL! :)

nancy591's picture
nancy591
Posts: 1059
Joined: Sep 2009

I have absolutely NO experience with CTCA. I do know a women who bashed my cancer center after her husband was given a terminal diagnosis from the facility with less then 6 months to live. She went to CTCA and they told her no, they could help him. She went on to bash my center because they receieve federal funding, yadda, yadda, yadda.
When all was said and done this gentlemen DID die within 6 months of diagnosis. The federal funding thing is something they really must throw out there because I've heard it mentioned several times.

I never felt like a number at my cancer center. I know my doctors know me and feel that they sincerely care about me and my family. I hate to think that some people have bad experiences as their centers.

Personally, I do not like CTCAs commercials. The one where the lady says 'they knew me better then I knew myself' My Mom hates that commerical. I don't like the one with the guy with panceratic cancer. He says his first doctor said 'what are you laughing about you don't have long to live' or something along those lines.

Again, I am not bashing. I am glad you found a place that works for you. Everyone should be that lucky!!!! Afterall, our lives are in their hands!

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

My comments about the vaccine trials were not directed at you, Survivingovca. In her post, Jan said, "The past couple of years CTCA has given the ovarain cancer vaccine to their patients and have been successful." I thought she was saying that ALL OC patients at CTCA receive the vaccine, and as you pointed out yourself, that is simply not true. I just wanted to clarify that for anyone who might think they could go to CTCA and automatically get into a vaccine trial.

I am delighted that CTCA turned out to be the best place for you. A good relationship with our doctors and treatment centers is vital, I believe. Plenty of women here have benefited from various homopathic treatments, as well as nutritional programs, etc. I would never "knock" those - nor anyone's choice of treatment. I am strongly in favor of full disclosure, however.

The commercials for CTCA rub me the wrong way, too. The message is always the same: my doctor told me I was going to die and then I went to Cancer Treatment Center of America and they saved my life. To me, that is the same kind of thing that drives people to apricot pits and coffee enemas, etc. I had a very close family friend (a former foster child of mine) who sought treatment from CTCA (lung cancer) and he did not live even one week longer than the diagnosing physician guessed he would.

Truth be told, we are all in God's hands. And again, I am very, very happy that your treatment has been successful and that you found what you needed at CTCA. They are, I'm sure, the best "fit" for some people.

Carlene

jan pederson
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2011

CTCA always make sure your insurance will cover the patient before they step foot into the hospital because they do not want the patient to be overcome with a LARGE bill since the patient has enough on their mind. Also, can anybody put a price on your life??? You are worth it!!! ctca is a private hospital so they can do more for you then a hospital who take grants from the goverment. Let's keep the government out of the medical field as they can't even make common sence decisions.

I wish you the best in your choice for your care.

zinaida's picture
zinaida
Posts: 220
Joined: Oct 2007

Jan! Are you a cancer survivor?

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Jan Pederson is a cancer survivor and a spokesperson for Cancer Treatment Centers of America. You can Google her name, or just go to the CTCA website.

CTCA, on their website, now have a disclaimer that gives OC statistics and reminds us that stories like Jan's "are not typical". I think that's a good thing, as they have not always had that and in the past, I thought, tended to give women false hope.

Mind you, I am not discouraging hope. I often say that "hope dies last", but I believe that promoting one cancer center over all others is neither fair nor helpful. All cancer centers have success stories - women diagnosed with late stage OC who never recurred. And all cancer centers, including CTCA, lose a large percentage of their OC patients, ultimately.

I support placing the blame on the disease, not the doctors or the hospital.

Carlene

Lisa13Q's picture
Lisa13Q
Posts: 683
Joined: Jul 2009

Please please please can we not have official spokespeople who work for a specific organization here trying to market? It feels like a conflict of interest in a situation in which people are terrified and vulnerable.....I, too, have heard that CTCA do not have the best and the brightest as those folks are at the major hospitals where they receive grants and have access to research all across the country. Who knows, I think people should do their homework VERY carefully before choosing a place that's right for them. We examined Yale and MSKCC, who treat Ovarian cancer VERY differently. Their Stats were better than some of the stats of other hospitals we looked at. Yet, their stats were virtually identical to each other despite their differing approaches. Who knows....I would like to know if Jan Pedersen is paid by CCTA, if so, is it appropriate to have her discussing it here?

zinaida's picture
zinaida
Posts: 220
Joined: Oct 2007

I have enough adds about Cancer Treatment Centers of America on TV.

kansasgal's picture
kansasgal
Posts: 117
Joined: Aug 2009

I think Songflower in the Uterine Cancer discussion group was diagnosed with peritoneal carcinomatosis as a recurrence of UPSC. She, too, lives in Virginia. You might post to that board asking about treatment for peritoneal carcinomatosis. I do not remember where she has been treated.

Hugs from Sally

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network