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Choosing a cancer treatment center:
Is there a difference?

Like you, your cancer is unique. 

The type, size and location of the cancer, along with your own overall physical condition, can make cancer complicated to treat appropriately. That’s why finding a board-certified doctor and an accredited treatment facility to provide the best care for you and your specific cancer is such a vital first step. 

Where you are treated makes a big difference.

The quality of your initial diagnosis, assessment and treatment planning can have a huge impact on the outcome of your cancer treatment. That’s why where you are treated first makes such a big difference.

Cancer care is continually changing. Breakthroughs in screening and diagnostic techniques mean cancers can be detected much earlier, when treatment is more successful. Advanced technologies are making treatments more precise, less invasive, and easier physically and emotionally. And as medical science expands our understanding of cancer and its causes and cures, next-generation treatments and therapies are developing and rapidly becoming available.

It’s important to choose a dedicated cancer treatment facility staffed by physicians who focus only on cancer. That’s the best way to ensure that you have access to the latest evidence-based advances in technology and specialty care. 

Cancer is personal. Your treatment should be, too.

A cancer diagnosis feels devastating, physically and emotionally. That’s why it’s important to get the most advanced care, personalized to treat – and beat – your unique cancer.

The best cancer centers work in treatment teams made up of specialists from all areas of treatment and research who meet and work together as a group to study and discuss all aspects of each individual patient’s condition and care. This multi-disciplinary team – a close collaboration among oncologists and other medical specialists such as radiologists, surgeons, pathologists, genetic counselors, nurses and nurse practitioners, and integrated healing therapists – conducts a thorough assessment and puts together a precise treatment plan based on the patient’s specific health risks and physical condition. 

The best cancer centers will also help you learn more about your own unique cancer, as well as what treatment options are available, how to minimize side effects, and how to manage the physical, emotional and financial challenges that can accompany cancer. You’ll partner with your personal nurse-navigator, who will guide you through everything, from treatment to insurance coverage to nutritional counseling. You’ll be kept informed and involved every step of the way. 

Feeling comfortable in your treatment environment plays a significant role in your recovery. Are doctors and staff warm and caring? Do they explain medical terms and procedures, take time to answer your questions, and address you and your family with patience and respect? You should always feel confident that you are being treated with total competence and concern.

Does the facility promote healing through comforting surroundings? Bright light-filled spaces, lush healthy plants, and gentle music can help you relax so your treatments are less stressful and more effective. Advanced care, in a serene, soothing environment, is essential to your physical, spiritual and emotional well being. 

How can you be sure you’re making the right choice for you?

Making such a life-changing decision can be frightening, but there is plenty of help available. Take time to ask questions, talk to your primary care doctor about referrals, seek recommendations from family and friends, and use all available resources to help you understand your options and make educated choices.

In all cases, you’ll want to choose a cancer center where decisions are based on research and best practice methods.As you compare cancer treatment centers, here are some differences to look for and consider. 

© 2012 Gibbs Cancer Center

Gibbs Cancer Center is a multidisciplinary cancer center located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It is one of the original National Cancer Institute's Community Cancer Centers Program and Community Clinical Oncology Program sites. Gibbs is nationally recognized cancer treatment and research facility with affiliations with MD Anderson Physicians Network and the Medical University of South Carolina's Hollings Cancer Center.

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Spartanburg Regional
MD Anderson
NCI Community Cancer Centers Program