What Cancer Centers can Learn from Cancer Patients

by KarenG_WN

Cancer1Choosing where you'll go for cancer treatment is a huge and complicated decision for many cancer patients and their families. Those who are newly diagnosed can be so overwhelmed, it's hard to know where to begin when making this important choice. Cancer centers want to care for you, but you want to know that you're selecting the best place that meets your individual needs. We asked our network of cancer fighters what they love most about their own cancer centers and what makes them a great partner. Here's what they had to say:

  • "They get the people relations part right. There is no little sliding glass door or grumpy people to greet us when we go in. It's an open waiting room with a counter, and friendly people who greet us by name when we go in. On the first visit, they took a Polaroid photo, and they seem to know everyone who walks through that front door." -- Freebird 
  • "The front office staff, lab techs, nurses, and doctors help you feel like you are a part of a family and you never feel like you're on this journey by yourself. For example, when they found out my son played soccer at the local HS they would cut out pictures and articles about the team from the local paper. Another nurse went over the top when she brought me strawberry shortcake from a favorite restaurant." -- Mindy91
  • "I have never felt like just a number. In fact a couple times when I've arrived early they got me in to see the doctors early! Now that's special and unusual." -- mgm48 
  • "There is a special lounge area for anyone who has any type of cancer issues, no matter what type of cancer it is and it's open to men and women. You can just sit and relax in their comfy chairs, they have volunteers who will chat with you, they have professionals come in and donate their time to give massages etc. and it's all free. I find it a great place to unwind after I've had a saline infusion for my breast reconstruction process." -- barriesmum
  • "My Dr. was so informative and compassionate. He made me feel like I was part of his family. I loved that. I didn't feel like a number....I think that's the worst. All the staff in that department was nice and treated me great. They actually cared enough to get to know me. I felt so comfortable, at ease when I was there. They allowed me to vent at times, to talk to them about things going on in my life. I could go on and on about how wonderful they were to me. They certainly made this journey easier for me." -- Lirasgirl33
  • "As the spouse it is very important to me my husband always be comfortable and his dignity respected, and staff here go over and above every single expectation I have. For example, My husband is 6'6, and terribly sick from the chemo tretment--he is not comfortable in the chemo chair, and they always have a private room with a bed waiting for him. The volunteer staff stop by every so often to check on me and see if I need anything and offer to bring me breakfast then lunch." -- Queen_Tatiana 
  • "I was scared. Really scared, when I heard the word chemo. Then, you walk into a room full of machines and chairs and people in differing stages of treatment. I wanted to run. I almost did. Of course, I'm so glad I didn't. I have never met anyone with more compassion and affection for others than an oncology nurse. More smiles, hugs and encouragement have never been given to me and although I know surgery and chemo saved my life, those people rescued my soul." -- CommaWitch
  • "I loved the level of personal care, the nurses who gave me their direct phone number so I could reach them quickly when issues arose. My cancer center has an awesome group of volunteers who circulate through the waiting areas with fresh baked cookies and drinks for patients and their families. Sometimes a warm chocolate chip cookie is the best medicine!" -- jennqt

What do you love most about your cancer center? Comment below or join the discussion by clicking here.

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