Women who don't have BRCA mutations could have other high-risk genes that affect treatment choices
by baptizedtoo on Thu Mar 11, 2010 03:25 AM
I am supposed to go to the Chicago center next week. I was told they would fly me and my husband there, pick us up at the airport, do a 3-5 day evaluation by a team who would then sit down with us with a recommendation, give us vouchers for our meals, and all we would have to pay is $75 + tax for the entire stay. I have BC/BS insurance which will pay as much for treatment there as they pay here. It sounds wonderful to me but some of these negative posts have got me confused. I have small cell lung cancer and have been doing okay but I don't really have any rapport with my oncologist or the nurses in his office. I'm also not sure about my diagnosis being totally on target. What could it hurt to try this?
by malinnaf on Fri Mar 12, 2010 04:55 AM
I have heard very mixed reviews from actual patients and prior patients. Some loved it and some did not at all. I am fortunate in that I live in Houston so we had the natural choice of MDA, which has been wonderful. They DO advertise, but are an academic institution and any funds they raise go directly to the research. My husbands care has been outstanding...the results have not always been what we hoped, but when it is not, adjustments are made. The care staff is so kind and supportive, and yes, they also treat the whole patient, with in house pain, internal medicine, psychiatry clinics, as well as nutritional counseling, vision centers, beauty/barber shops with operators trained in helping to work with treatment damaged hair, chaplaincy and a place of wellness, for massage, relaxation, yoga, support classes. Whatever we need. I say, if you find a place that you feel good about, use it. Attitude is a huge part of successfully handling your new life with this monster called cancer.
by baptizedtoo on Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:37 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know that we did go to the Cancer Center of America in Chicago (It's actually in Zion, ILL but they pick you up at Chicago O'Hare). I could not have been more impressed with everything and everyone. They were friendly, compassionate, helpful, totally not-pushy, professional, and I took one chemo treatment while I was there and it was a whole different world than what I had experienced here. I plan to finish my treatments there and would highly recommend them to anyone seeking cancer treatment!
by walls86 on Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:08 AM
by graceann on Thu Jul 22, 2010 09:35 AM
CTCA is an amazing place to go for your cancer treatment. I hesitated to go there because I would have to go to the Zion, Illinois, facility (I live approx. 90 miles & my son & daughter-in-law only lives 2 miles from the Tulsa facility). I have Blue Cross insurance and Illinois is the place to go with BC insurance. CTCA truly saved my life.
I am now in remission from DLBCL (diffuse large B cell lymphoma). I had an 11 cm. mass and another large mass, plus 6-7 cancerous lymph nodes in my pelvic area. My local dr. was planning my treatment (R-CHOP) -Day 1, 6 hours & Day 2, 3 hours. I would do this every three weeks, four times. He said that my bone marrow was erupting through my pelvic bone & staged me at stage 4.
My dr at CTCA, Dr. Redei, tested me for two days, determined that it was the mass eating into my pelvic bone & that my cancer was not even in my bone marrow!! He did, however, express that my cancer was very, very, very aggressive. His plan was to admit me into the hospital for 6 days, constant chemo infusion, followed by a shot of neulasta 12 hours after chemo. (R-EPOCH) I would do this every three weeks, six (6) times!!!! After only two rounds of my treatment, we did another PET scan & my 11 cm mass had reduced to 2 cm, my other large mass was completely gone & all of the other cancerous lymph nodes were DEAD!! I couldn't hardly believe what Dr. Redei was telling me!!! I asked him if he was surprised & he said, "this is exactly the way your treatment had to happen in order for you to beat this thing." "Your cancer was so aggressive that we had to knock it out very quickly for you to survive!!!" I continued with my remaining treatments. I finished up the second week of March 2010. I am officially in remission!!! Thank the Lord and all of the prayers in my behalf.
Just look at the difference in treatment plans -- it just tells you that I would not be here today (probably) if I would have stuck with my local doctor.
They also make it so easy for you to go there. Margie (the travel lady) is sooooo super nice & helpful. She (or anyone in that department) will make all of your arrangements. CTCA will fly you & a companion free of charge, pick you up & take you back to the airport (in a limosine even!). Your hotel stay will only cost $44 for one night or $75 total no matter how many nights you stay (1st visit only, $44 per night on following visits). They shuttle you back & forth to the hospital & feed you & your companion the entire time you are there. (everything is free of charge except the motel) You can't hardly say no to at least go & get another opinion. They continue to fly the patient free of charge throughout your treatment & even for all of your follow-up appointments. (your companion/s must provide their own travel). I promise you will be so impressed with the quality of care, compassion and desire to cure your dreaded disease. I couldn't hardly believe that they do all of this for you in order to help you seek treatment.
My insurance paid off even better than I expected. I only had to pay approximately $200 total for the year 2009 & I went through 3 rounds of treatment (of course, I had already met my out-of-pocket before I went there). You know you usually expect surprises in your expenses, but I had made my mind up that I wanted to live & I didn't care if I had to pay on my bill until I died. The financial lady, Peggy, was also super nice & so reassuring that CTCA will work with you no matter what your insurance does. If you can only pay $100 a month, then that is what you can do. They also have many financial programs that they can direct you to for help.
I just can't say enough good things about CTCA. Everyone there is so great, even as bad as going every three weeks can get, they make you feel so special & you get to know all about them & their families & they get to know about yours. They are very committed to making you as comfortable as possible, informed, & are dedicated to your not getting sick (boy I appreciated that!!!) I was never sick even one day with my very aggressive treatment!!
I went back the first of June for my 1st 3-month follow-up appointment & all is still good. I will continue to follow up every three months for the first year. My cancer has a very high incidence of returning the first two years. If I understand it correctly, the next time will be even worse, so keep me in your prayers that it doesn't come back!!
I hope this helps anyone considering CTCA -- it has been a life saver for me. (& all of God's work)
by iraike on Wed Mar 02, 2011 02:04 AM
I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer yesterday. My daughter died of cancer and I thought of taking her to CTCA.
Please look at the settlement of the false claims that the FTC fined them for.
Watch out! There are those who prey on desperate people.
Fortunately I'm treated at the VA hospital in San Francisco which is a teaching hospital for UCSF, one of the best diagnostic hospitals in the world.
Go to a teaching hospital if you can. Forget CTCA.
by conniej on Tue Aug 16, 2011 06:43 PM
hope you did get treatment there I see this was in 2007. I was stage 4 lung cancer in 2008 and am still in remission at this time. Treatment covered all aspects of the cance mental physical and spiritual . Treatment included radiation and chemo, vitamins presciption and all worked well for me good luck
by conniej on Tue Aug 16, 2011 06:44 PM
same result in Tulsa fortunately I am 3 hours from CTCA. very pleased
by conniej on Tue Aug 16, 2011 06:45 PM
same result in tulsa very pleased
by conniej on Tue Aug 16, 2011 06:48 PM
I had Dr. King,Dr Nader, onocologist Dr. Kittrell, and 2 or three others that treat either symptoms or causes. No probllem for me. But I do think I might have a somewhat of an attitude when I got there because I was REALLY sick, malnorished, dehydrated and etc good luck with what ever you choose
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