Currently, between 2,000 and 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed annually in the United States, compared with 215,000 new cases of traditional lung cancer. Although mesothelioma may represent a small percentage of cancer cases, a great deal of research is being conducted on it. As a result, many cancer centers are conducting clinical trials for new methods of treating the disease. Of course, some cancer centers are more focused on mesothelioma than others, and since where a patient seeks treatment can have a major impact on the success of the treatment, it is important to evaluate cancer centers carefully.
Accordingly, it is necessary for a patient newly diagnosed with mesothelioma to locate a cancer center or mesothelioma hospital to receive treatment. However, the center must be right for the patient. In his or her search, the patient should consider how many mesothelioma cases the center has seen as well as the approaches it takes concerning treatment. If a selected center is not near the patient's home, some insurance providers will cover travel costs. In addition, social workers affiliated with most cancer centers can coordinate lodging and travel arrangements.
It's important to realize that not all cancer centers are the same. Different centers have slightly different treatment plans or approaches, while others adhere to traditional methods. Still more embrace a fuller approach that involves diet and emotional health. Some facilities have frequent clinical trials underway to test new drugs or treatment options. In many cases, cancer treatment centers are affiliated with university medical schools. Others are simply top-rated hospitals that have developed excellent cancer programs. A more recent development is the independent cancer care center, which has been founded strictly to treat cancer patients.
Other times, a doctor at a cancer center has hospital affiliations. This means these doctors must admit and treat patients in a specific facility. Sometimes this means that a patient will have to decide between the cancer center he prefers and the doctor he prefers.
As a result, when deciding which cancer center to attend, patients should make sure that they are comfortable with the methods the center employs. They should also be comfortable with its perspective on these treatments. Most conservative cancer centers will employ a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Those that have a more holistic approach may use all of those treatment methods plus gene therapy, photodynamic therapy, and immunotherapy.
Hopefully, the list of cancer centers compiled in this section will be helpful to anyone seeking a treatment hospital. You can also get help with your decision from the Commission on Cancer, a project of the American College of Surgeons. This group evaluates hospitals to make sure that they offer the most current diagnostic equipment and treatment options.
Additionally, the National Cancer Institute ranks treatment centers on three different levels, from a basic treatment center to a comprehensive one. Nationwide, 25 NCI designated Cancer Centers exist, as do 40 designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Based on relevance, this site covers 39 of the 40 Comprehensive and 16 of the 25 Cancer Centers in addition to a number of other non-designated centers.