In order to receive the best cancer care possible, mesothelioma patients should seek treatment from a cancer center. Mesothelioma treatment centers and clinics are located across the United States with some of the top mesothelioma doctors in the world.
Comprehensive cancer care can potentially improve patient prognosis. Mesothelioma cancer centers have doctors with experience in diagnosing and treating the disease, as well as oncologists that understand the latest research and emerging treatment options.
Finding a Mesothelioma Cancer Center
Patients often have to travel to recieve care after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesothelioma centers and clinics are located around the United States, allowing patients and their families to potentially receive treatment in their own state.
For patients located far from universities and large cities, distant travel may be required. Many cancer centers take this into account, sometimes offering help with housing for mesothelioma patients and family members. Typically, there is designated staff that can provide information regarding long-term and short-term housing options, as well as nearby shopping, dining and transportation options during their stay.
Medical care teams experienced in treating mesothelioma understand the difficulties of a patient’s treatment journey and may also strive to provide emotional and spiritual support to traveling families. Patients should discuss all options available to them with their medical care team before undergoing treatment.
Cancer Clinics for Veterans
Veterans, particularly U.S. Navy veterans, comprise a large number of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. As a result, many facilities are dedicated to providing care specifically to veterans with a thorough understanding of benefits that may be available to them. Veteran-specific facilities may be able to offer services, resources and programs, free of charge, to patients, their spouses and other family members.
Though there are veterans’ treatment facilities that have experience treating mesothelioma, veterans are not limited to these centers. They can also look into other mesothelioma doctors and cancer centers around the United States to find the type of care that is best for them.
Choosing a Mesothelioma Cancer Center
When selecting a mesothelioma cancer center, patients should do their own research and look into the profiles and experience of top mesothelioma doctors. Other points to consider are whether or not the doctor or cancer center’s treatment strategies are in-line with patient goals, as well as what costs are associated with receiving their care.
Patients should look for accreditations or designations that can attribute to their depth of knowledge and experience. Centers with international mesothelioma programs often understand the latest diagnostic tools, treatment options and research. Cancer centers may also have designation from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) or National Cancer Institute (NCI).
National Comprehensive Cancer Centers
Some cancer centers are designated as part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Currently, the NCCN alliance includes 28 cancer institutes that provide excellent care to cancer patients. The NCCN focuses on quality care, cancer research and education, as well as care that is quality, effective, efficient and accessible for patients and their families.
NCCN centers can be recognized for:
- Cutting-edge treatment of rare cancers like pleural mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers
- Large successes in cancer treatment
- The first to devise a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment, organizing teams of doctors from different specialties to work together to establish patient treatment plans
- Provides cancer care guidelines to non-member medical institutions
- Employs some of the best mesothelioma specialists available
National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers
The National Cancer Institute is a division of the National Institutes of Health. Cancer treatment centers can become NCI-designated when recognized for scientific excellence, specifically, for their diagnosis and treatment of individuals with all types of cancer. They also recognize the development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention.
NCI designation is voluntary, and hospitals must apply for the designation. The National Cancer Institute recognizes both cancer centers and comprehensive cancer centers, the designation solely based on the type of grant received from the NCI. There is no difference between the two as far as the quality of care offered.
Currently, there are 70 NCI-designated cancer centers, including 14 cancer centers, 49 comprehensive cancer centers and 7 basic laboratory cancer centers.
NCI-designated cancer centers can be recognized for:
- Employing some of the best mesothelioma doctors in the world
- Offering some of the most advanced treatment options available, such as mesothelioma brachytherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy, photodynamic therapy and other emerging treatments
- Many conduct ongoing clinical trials, testing new mesothelioma drugs and advances in standard chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments
In addition to helping patients and families choose a cancer center and doctor, these accreditations can offer comfort and peace of mind that they are receiving the best care possible. With experience handling aggressive cancers like mesothelioma, these centers also understand the stresses associated with such a diagnosis and will do whatever possible to help.
Author: Linda Molinari
Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer AllianceRead about Linda
Reviewer: Annette Charlevois
Patient Support CoordinatorRead about Annette