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Has anyone had care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America?

jimnsherry's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2005

Has anyone had anything to do with these Centers? and if so I would like to know if they really are all they are cracked up to be on the commercials that you see on TV. I had a discussion on the internet with a "Patient Advocate" and saved that conversation so if anyone is interested I will send it to you. I just wonder if this place is preying on the emotions of cancer patients and their families. It seems to me they are money oriented because before you ever have an appointment they will be telling you whether or not your insurance will cover their costs and how much you will need to pay them. So I thought I would find out if the money is worth it for the supposed great treatment. It almost seems like a home of some sort, except it is outpatient I guess. I just got a weird impression. Tell me what you think. Thanks.

NETsurvivor's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2008

I would be happy to talk with you about CTCA. I have been going there since June of 2007. I also was very suspicious at first. My fears and suspicions were quickly dispelled. The facility is first class and the treatment is outstanding. Every time I go there I meet people just like myself who were given no hope at home and instead have found life giving treatment for their cancer.

It is true that they check for insurance compatibility upfront but that is to protect you, the patient. Not everyone has insurance coverage to go there. It is good to know that upfront instead of after the fact when the bills start rolling in. Actually, they have been terrific to deal with financially. I am out of network which should result in an additional deductible of $600 and additional out of pocket of $1500 above and beyond my in network responsibility. CTCA writes off the difference allowing me to only pay what would amount to the in network rate.

I travel 5 hours to get there and they pay for my transportation. Meals at the center are free or at an extremely reduced price for both patients and family members. We have never had to pay more than $1 for a meal there and we are talking high quality, often organic foods that nurture cancer patients. Local hotels charge a reduced rate for CTCA patients. We stay at a County Inn Suites and the charge is $40/night.

In addition to regular medical services, they also have naturopaths that work with the doctors to provide suggested supplements to enhance your treatment plan. Dietitians also work with you to help you to provide good cancer fighting nutrition for you body.

The hour is late and I must get to bed but I would be happy to tell you more and answer your questions.

I am new to the message board so I don't know how things work yet but hope you can find me again. I'd love to tell you my story. CTCA saved my life. Hope to talk to you again!

jimnsherry's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2005

It appears that you have had great experiences with them and i am happy for you. I have adenocarcinoma. Dscovered in Dec 04, whipple in Jan 05, and chose not to do any treatment at that time since I had no noable cancer and my ca19-9 was 11. Recently my ca19-9 has gone to 415 and I have tumors on my lung thtat lit up on PET. Now I'm looking for answers and my original surgeon said what do you want," you made it for 4 years and outlived all of the other patients, relax and enjoy the ride". I guess that I'm just not ready to give up yet. I am in pretty good health ecept fpr this pesky cancer thing and I want to find xome sort of clinical trial or something that has xome real hope or at least the real possibility of heading for a cure sometime in the future. Good chatting with you though. Jim

Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2008

I have been to the center in Oklahoma. They are absolutely fabulous. I agree with previous writer about knowing the costs. They take care of all that business before hand. They are not pushy. Their insurance experts will find a way to get things covered. I did not have to worry about a thing. So I would say go for it. The travel is worth it. I have bile duct cancer and was told that the picture was very bleak by the oncologist here. They were very realistic there. I was told there is no cure, but there are long term survivors with remission. Every case is different. Their care is head to toe, including dieticians, naturopathic care, phsycological, etc. They do not push anything. But they include you in all of the decision making.
Good luck and let me know how you make out.

Posts: 144
Joined: Jan 2009

When I first found out about my colon cancer they were the first place I called. I think they try to filter out people that do not have good insurance. I had a brain tumor and was released about 2 1/2 years ago. I had excellent insurance and even paid for it through COBRA for 2 years. No one would insure me after a brain tumor and was eligible for MediCare. I have part A, B and D plus a medigap policy. When the representative talked with me I felt like they don't want MediCare patients. They want people with good private insurance. Also, I noticed these commercial about "curing" people. If you notice there is a "note" on the TV screen stating something like ..these people are the ones cured don't expect it for everyone. Something along thoses lines. I go to MD Anderson, excellent care, and they know what they're doing. Go to MD Anderson for your care.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2011


Who/where is MD Anderson?

abrub's picture
Posts: 1862
Joined: Mar 2010

Major cancer center in Texas - superb reputation.

Other options: Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC; Dana Farber in Boston, and others. There are several fantastic cancer centers around the country. I haven't heard many good things about CTCA. When I called them with questions, they wouldn't answer; they wanted to know about my case and when I'd come in. I go to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

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Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2011

I am so glad to hear the positive side of CTCA. I just did a search for them on Bing and reached site to see a ranting post about how they were just in it for the money and how they charged $500 just to do a review of someone's record who chose not to go for the three day tour and eval. I signed on here to post a comment that $500 to look at the records is not out of line and that medical treatment is expensive. One woman commented that she is from England and has socialized medicine and how great it is. Their socialized almost killed me when I was over there. Thank goodness I made it back to the states & our expensive medicine. Anyway, to my situation.
My father was just diagnosed yesterday with a "large mass on his lung which is advancing into his heart". He will be 90 next month and has smoked since he was 10. Next week he will have a bronchioscopy but the Dr. doesn't hold out much hope. She said not to bring him in to the hospital over the weekend because the don't usually do the test until the weekday unless he is coughing up blood. But, she said there is a possibility that he may begin coughing up blood over the weekend and to take him in to the closest emergency room immediately.
Needless to say I am quite upset and this is the first place I am reaching out to. His family is very long lived and I had expected him to live another ten years. He had been in good health up until father's day when he came down with pneumonia. Now he can barely walk and is eating about a tenth of his regular.
The family consists of me and my two sons. One totally severed relationship with me about four years ago and the other has maintented very limited relationship. This came about because I tried to tell them about his change of mental status due to brain damage from a fall off a second story roof about ten years before which put him in a coma for almost a week and broke three bonnes in his back. I even had the drs. & hospital reports but they refused to look at them saying that there was nothing wrong with him and that it was all me. The man who had never even yelled at me as a child was now giving me black eyes, breaking fingers, and dislocating shoulders. But it was my fault. So I will get no support from them and I am not even sure that they will acknowledge it.
When I did manage to get him to stop smoking for a year about three years ago it was one of the daughters-in-law who got him smoking again. Their reasoning was that he is a grown man and he should be allowed to make his own decisions. I'm going through my own stages of death and dying now. At this point I'm fluctuating between denial, bargaining with God, and anger.
I guess I should be writing all this in a blog. But as I said, all this is new. I am thinking of areas of treatment to explore and would appreciate ANY reccomendations from you all.
He is going to Hershey Medical Center right now, which is a medical school and research center. We live near Harrisburg, PA. There is Holy Spirit Hospital that is supposed to have a good cancer treatment center. I am also thinking of checking out CTCA, Mao Clinic, and Johns Hopkins. I am not really very comfortable with the idea of going to South America or Mexico for treatment. I have lived there and seen their medical treatment. I know they can use experimental drugs that the USA is not allowed to use but I also know other things about them that would make me too skeptikel except as a very last resort. You can contact me directly at pb2414@ship.edu. Thank you and please keep my dad and I in your prayers. Pat

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2011


I have been to the CTCA in Philadelphia and have to say that the care there was superb. They treat you like a human being, not just another number with statistics to help them write their new medical paper. They are very thorough about what your insurance coverage is but they also offer grants to those who don't have insurance to cover the costs. They try to make sure that you the patient aren't left with a great big bill you can't pay. I had surgery in January for a abdominal liposarcoma and have no regrets with having gone there.

Unfortunately, I have recently had a recurrence but with my kind of cancer, this was always a possibility and they never told me that it couldn't come back. They were honest and up front with me with everything they did. I would highly recommend them as an alternative to the bigger cancer centers, especially if you go there and they only see you as a statistic.

Good luck with your search for a treatment center.


L.W.P.'s picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2017

<p>O don't know where your reading about C.T.C.A. But every place I see nothing but great reviews on them. I been going there since March with better than great results.&nbsp;</p>

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2017

Hi,  I'm planning on driving 6 hours for treatment at CTCA next week.  I have Stage 3 breat cancer and had surgery and started chemo near my home, at what is considered the best cancer center in my city.  The surgeon I had was exceptional but when I moved to the oncology department I had a terrible time from the start.  I had my first chemo treatment a little over a week ago and had a nightmare acute reaction to the treatment.  I ended up in an ambulance later that night and spent three more days in the hospital.  Since I got out of the hospital I could not even get a nurse, let alone oncologist to return my call to make a safer plan for my second treatment.  Their response of zero concern and zero response to my first treatment trauma left me dumbfounded.  I have had more attention from a pharmacy phone call to Walgreens than that.  This led me to seek out CTCA.  It doesn't bother me at all that they are for profit.  The oncologist that I had was arrogant, patronizing and did not care about me at all.  He might not be at a for profit facility but be sure he is in it for the money, not the love of his patients.  I received more care, respect and concern from the one hour phone consultaion I had with CTCA than all the "care" I had from my former oncology team combined.  I am so thankful that my insurance covers my care at CTCA and wish everyone could have this choice when faced with lacking options of great care in their area. 

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