Cancer centers are located across the country with specialized mesothelioma treatment programs. Mesothelioma patients can visit these cancer centers to receive high-quality, life-extending treatments backed by the latest in research technology.
Mesothelioma Cancer Centers Overview
Cancer centers are hubs of treatment research and development employing the most talented, specialized medical professionals in the field of medicine.
With many cancer centers being home to designated mesothelioma treatment programs, here’s what every patient should know about undergoing treatment at a cancer center:
- Many cancer centers have designated mesothelioma treatment programs developed by top mesothelioma doctors
- Mesothelioma treatment centers are home to critical research programs that test out new and novel treatments to eventually become standard therapies
- Comprehensive Cancer Centers are fully-equipped facilities that have the top technology and equipment required to accurately diagnose and treat rare cancers like mesothelioma
- There are cancer centers across the country with different specialities, including peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma programs
- Veteran mesothelioma patients have access to the VA Healthcare System, which employs two of the most talented and experienced pleural mesothelioma specialists
What are Mesothelioma Cancer Centers?
Mesothelioma cancer centers are Comprehensive Cancer Centers and VA Hospitals located across the country that are fully equipped to be able to diagnose and treat mesothelioma patients. Firstly, mesothelioma cancer centers are led and directed by the best specialized medical care teams in the country. Mesothelioma treatment teams consist of surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and other physicians who are all oncologists (cancer doctors) as well. These multidisciplinary teams make mesothelioma cancer centers the top treatment facilities that they are.
In addition to their top-end medical teams, mesothelioma cancer facilities are also state-of-the-art medical technology centers. Equipped with the best in diagnostic technology and radiation machines, mesothelioma treatment centers treat thousands of patients using the best practices and techniques possible.
In addition to the advanced diagnostic and radiation equipment, mesothelioma cancer centers are also leaders in research advancements. Operating numerous clinical trials and research investigations, the teams at mesothelioma cancer centers are dedicated to developing the best therapies and treatment approaches with the ultimate goal of finding a cure one day.
Why Choose a Mesothelioma Cancer Center?
While there are many reasons that patients are encouraged to visit a designated cancer center for their mesothelioma treatments, there are a few critical considerations that patient should look at.
Here are a few of the most important reasons why you should choose a cancer center for mesothelioma treatment:
Undergo Specialized Care: Mesothelioma is a rare disease with only 3,000 new diagnoses per year. Because it’s such an uncommon cancer, the majority of doctors will likely never see a case of mesothelioma or a maximum of one to two cases throughout their careers. Limited experience diagnosing and treating mesothelioma means that oncologists at general hospitals have a high likelihood of misdiagnosing or improperly treating mesothelioma.
Patients can prevent this wasted time by scheduling a consultation with a specialized cancer center that has the expertise and equipment to appropriately care for mesothelioma patients.
Gain Access to Clinical Trials: Ongoing research and investigation into new therapies are taking place at cancer centers. The availability of these new treatments is critically important for some mesothelioma patients, especially those in advanced stages who rely on novel therapies for additional treatment options when curative surgery is no longer possible.
Many of these therapies being tested in clinical trials at cancer centers are showing promising results and will eventually go on to become standard treatments available to the general public eventually.
Familiarity With Mesothelioma and Asbestos: In addition to receiving the best specialized care and latest in treatment technologies, patients visiting mesothelioma cancer centers also benefit from the familiarity that these programs have with the unique struggles of mesothelioma patients. Mesothelioma treatment facilities work closely with insurance companies and legal experts who play critical roles in the complete scope of the mesothelioma tragedy.
Mesothelioma centers can provide full cooperation and communication with patients’ attorneys as well as provide emotional, mental and spiritual supports that are necessary for patients and families coping with such as devastating diagnosis.
Types of Mesothelioma Cancer Centers
Mesothelioma patients looking for the right cancer centers for their treatment needs can consider a few different options. From private to non-profit to National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, mesothelioma patients have plenty of options for finding the right types of treatments. Veterans with a mesothelioma diagnosis also have excellent treatment options, as two of the VA’s hospitals have mesothelioma treatment programs.
NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has designated dozens of Comprehensive Cancer Centers across the country. To be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), hospitals are almost always affiliated with a university and have well-established research programs, including lab and clinical studies. The heavy requirements of CCCs to meet ongoing research standards makes them an excellent venue for mesothelioma patients to undergo clinical trials.
Spotlight on Baylor Lung Institute
Baylor Lung Institute located at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston TX, is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with ongoing mesothelioma clinical trials. In addition to the treatment program, the Institute’s research division is headed up by Dr. David Sugarbaker, who came to Baylor to develop the Mesothelioma Treatment Center after his success in directing the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Non-Profit Cancer Centers
While many cancer centers are privately run, for-profit organizations, there are a few cancer centers that are registered non-profits. The differences in care between private and non-profit cancer centers are typically negligible because of the high standards that these facilities adhere to. Additionally, the non-profit cancer centers that have mesothelioma specialists are highly respected programs that continue to be leaders in treatment research.
Spotlight on Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a highly respected non-profit cancer center. As a registered 501c3 charitable institution, Brigham and Women’s Hospital relies on donations and fundraising to support their operations. Brigham and Women’s Hospital is home to the International Mesothelioma Program, the country’s leading mesothelioma research facility. Brigham and Women’s Hospital is located in Boston MA and is home to several of the top mesothelioma specialists.
VA Healthcare System
Veterans with a mesothelioma diagnosis and who are enrolled in the VA Healthcare System have access to two top mesothelioma treatment programs at VA Hospitals on either coast. The VA Healthcare System is designed to address the unique needs of veterans and their families, including housing, financial assistance, and psychological and emotional support. While many veterans choose to pursue treatment outside the VA Healthcare System, diagnosed vets can rest assured that the mesothelioma programs within the VA are extremely high-quality treatment centers led by two of the top mesothelioma specialists in the country.
Spotlight on Boston VA
VA Boston Healthcare System is located in Boston MA. Established to provide veterans with access to quality, affordable healthcare, the Boston VA is a robust and comprehensive medical system with three main facilities and five additional outpatient clinics. Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma can receive top-end treatment through the General Thoracic Surgery (GTS) division at the Boston VA’s West Roxbury Campus led by Dr. Avi Lebenthal—world-renowned pleural mesothelioma specialist and advocate for veterans’ health.
Choosing a Mesothelioma Cancer Center
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, then it’s important to find the right cancer center that meets all your needs. It’s not enough to find a cancer center that has a mesothelioma program. There are also other important considerations for individual patients and families to look at.
Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a mesothelioma cancer center:
- Location: Mesothelioma cancer centers are located in major cities from coast to coast, all over the country, including in Hawaii. While the majority of cancer centers are in the Northeastern region of the country, there are several centers in Florida, Texas, California and the Midwest and Pacific Northwest regions as well. Though rural patients will be required to travel, they can minimize their distance by choosing a center close to them.
- Specializations: Certain cancer centers specialize in specific mesothelioma disease forms and stages. It’s important for patients to check with the cancer center to ensure they have the expertise to treat their exact disease form.
- Clinical Trials: Mesothelioma pages should also consider the availability of clinical trials when choosing a mesothelioma cancer center. Some cancer centers are committed to researching certain types of novel therapies. For late-stage mesothelioma patients, it’s especially important to explore all the available clinical trials at different cancer centers.
- Insurance: When choosing a cancer center, patients must also consider whether or not the hospital is set up to work with their insurance provider. You can learn more about which insurance providers are accepted at which hospitals by contacting our Claims Representatives.
- Fit: In addition to ensuring that well-located cancer centers have the specializations, clinical trials and insurance options that your require, it’s also as important to find a cancer center that is the right fit. For different patients, this can mean different things. When researching cancer centers, be sure to ask about or look into their care philosophy. There are surprisingly different approaches to treatment among the medical community, and it’s wise to find an institution that aligns with your own healthcare beliefs.
For more information on finding the right cancer center for you, contact our Patient Advocates today. We can hep connect you with top mesothelioma doctors and treatment centers across the nation.