• Where are you being treated? Local or traveling some distance, what made your decision to go there?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Sunday, September 17, 2017

    Where are you being treated? Local or traveling some distance, what made your decision to go there?

    Just a poll for where we are getting treated, local or are you driving some distance. Why did you decide to go there?

    I got my diagnosis locally, but for surgery went to Vanderbilt to their Head and Neck Oncology clinic. Went there mainly because I was referred there by the surgeon who biopsied my lymph node. But, I would have gone there anyway because it's the best facility around here. I did get my radiation locally after I was assured by the oncologists from Vandy that they would oversee the program. Vandy is about 125 miles away, but we gladly drive it. We make a day of it now, eat breakfast along the way, then supper or lunch on the way home, and any shopping Donna wants to do while we are there.

    24 Answers from the Community

    24 answers
    • Carool's Avatar

      Greg, while it's been 18 years since my dx., I still go to MSKCC for annual mammograms and breast ultrasounds. It's a subway ride away from my apartment in Brooklyn. As one of the best cancer hospitals in the Northeast, MSK was a no-brainer choice for me. Unfortunately, they are very limited in which insurance they accept, but they took mine then and continue to take Medicare and my supplemental insurance. I wish they'd accept many more brands of health insurance.

      over 4 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I am treated at UTSW. I pass a number of fine hospitals to get there, but I wanted to go to a NCI-designated facility. Many doctors in our area are trained at UTSW. Right or wrong, I think they are more cutting edge.

      I am not sure how many miles away it is, but time wise, it is anywhere from 45 minutes to well over an hour away, depending on traffic. I generally choose to drive city streets rather than freeway to get there - I arrive much less stressed that way!

      over 4 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      I'm treated at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, currently being seen at the University of Washington campus for infusions/blood work. I LOVE them! I chose them because they are the #5 cancer center in the country, #1 hospital in our state, and they're in my network.

      It's about 20 miles from our house or 30 minutes with no traffic - but since it's Seattle area, it CAN take over 60 minutes to get to the hospital.

      I had my initial treatment/surgery in California at Kaiser Santa Clara because that was where my doctors were and it was about 10 minutes from our house.

      over 4 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      I'm being treated less than 5 miles from home. I had active treatment three years ago, but I still have follow-up appointments. My medical oncologist is with Florida Cancer Specialists; my radiation oncologist is with the Robert Boisonneault Oncology Institute. They're across the county road from each other. My surgeries (port insertion, lumpectomy, port removal) had been done at my local hospital (about 12 miles from home).

      My PCP also gave me the choice of Moffitt down in Tampa, but that's about a 75-mile drive from home. I am caregiver to an MS patient in addition to being a cancer patient (and managing both on my own), so that plus surgery/chemo/radiation and now anastrazole and quarterly (with MO) and semiannual (with RO) follow-up appointments would have been a bit much. My cancer/treatment was straightforward. If I had a more unusual cancer needing more specialized treatment, I would be more likely to look farther afield.

      During my most recent appointment with my MO, I raised concerns because some branches of FCS have been cited for subpar care. My MO told me that FCS had acquired his clinic, which had been previously independent, and that he has not changed anything about how he or his staff practices. I've been happy with the care I've been getting, so that was a relief to me. The article is here:

      over 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      I was diagnosed in Twin Falls but opted to go to Boise so my daughter could care for me. The my radiation Dr. was the son of the oncologist in Twin Falls, all in the Family. I went to Providence Portland for surgery because the surgery that I had was experimental.

      over 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      15 years ago, my Mom was alive and I her caretaker. I stayed with her because of a promise I had made to her.

      As far as I am concerned, there are better places to seek medical help than So Fla.

      You gotta dig through a lotta dirt to get to what little gold is there.

      over 4 years ago
    • SandiA's Avatar

      I moved around at first but stayed within an hour and a half from home. I was first sent to Georgetown to an ent specialist since my tumor was so close to my ear. Then when they decided I needed radiation they sent me back to Virginia /UVA. UVA had a satellite facility close to home. They felt that having to go 35 days in a row being close to home would be easier. Especially since I was still trying to work. Then I went to Charlottesville to see my medical oncologist. I was very fortunate to have great facilities close to home.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      Once I was finally diagnosed correctly with ovarian cancer I saw my gynecologist . I had been seeing this doctor for thirty years. After examining me he said I could stay local and he could do my debulking surgery, he had done a few in the past, but he recommended I go you UC Davis in Sacramento. My husband and I went on line and found out that a gynecologist onchologist was the doctor you wanted when treating ovarian cancer, they had the additional education and experience. There was no such animal in our town. We found out UC Davis was a teaching hospital and had a decent statewide ranking in cancer care. My husbsnd and I traveled 2 1/2 hours each way for my surgery and treatments. I feel very fortunate that my gyn/onc who cared for me three years ago has since transferred to UCSF, which I believe is in the top ten or twelve in the country in cancer treatment. My loss was someone else's gain. I still travel to UC Davis every six months for follow up exams.

      over 4 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      University of Pennsylvania...however, I went to the local office/infusion center here in South Jersey. Same doctors, but didn't have the stress of the traffic, tolls, extra driving time.

      over 4 years ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar

      We went to the cancer center at the local hospital. It's 20 mins from our house and my MIL was also treated there. It made the numerous visits easy but I did try to get my husband to go to MSK for a second opinion since they have oncs who specialize in the type of sc cancer he has. He refused so....

      over 4 years ago
    • Kris58's Avatar

      I recieve treatment in Peoria IL. It's an hour drive. But there are no other options in the area. You know the old saying "If it plays in Peoria it will play anywhere". That is where I get my treatment.

      over 4 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Granted, I'm almost 5 years out of treatment, but my hospital is about 10 minutes away and my infusion center is about 5 minutes away. Getting chemo so close was great because I drove myself -- it's maybe 3 miles, and a straight shot. Dr wasn't keen on having me drive until he heard how close I was.

      over 4 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      I went to my doctor 1/2 mile away. He referred me to a surgeon about 5 miles away. The surgeon told me that I could go to the state hospital and I shall shoot myself dead before I go there for anything-they are sued way too many times for death and physical injury-especially the oncology units-and I had friends that had treatment and they did commit suicide before they retrned there. Or my Advantage plan had it's own oncology unit- think about it- and have primary Care take care of it--but the acttual diagnoses wouldn't be availiable for a few more weeks-Then take action.

      Since new cancers came up on my face-and I had stitches all over-I walked in and said I need to see my doctor- A nurse escorted me to my primary doctor.. He asked if I wanted the state or network---Network- He asked if the biopsyreports were in-- NO-- He called up to make an appointment for me right now. They asked abot the reports- He told them he could see new cancers and I needed to start care now--And if I had to go up- he would walk up with me and really cause trouble- he was screaming and cursing.

      I actually saw a lousy oncologist before my biopsy report came back.

      I had radiology across the parking lot. Got a new oncologist--My oncology radiologist moved to another county -30 miles away- on the road from Santa Fe and Farminton, NM and Durango, CO.

      This summer, I moved to the scan unit in the next county--nicer people, and I changed hemotominy clincs and oncologist to a new contractor that's about 13 miles north- same4 county-same city. Much nicer staffs I think that the oncology and scan units don't pay enough to attract very many nice people- or the supervisors don't care at all. Something is wrong-but my primary care has wonderful nurses and PAs--

      over 4 years ago
    • charnell's Avatar

      Simmons Cancer Institute. It is less than 10 miles from my house. I am fortunate to have a great local facility.

      over 4 years ago
    • SteveG's Avatar

      I was treated in my small town hospital for my first cancer but they referred me to the big city medical school for the surgery (maxillectomy) for my second cancer. Fortunately, the medical school decided that my nearby hospital could do the radiation and chemotherapy. Both still follow me and that is why I see 2 ENTs.

      over 4 years ago
    • Janetspringer's Avatar

      I started locally. Had problems here with problems related to radiation and one of my doctors insisted I go to MD Anderson. My doctors here more or less dropped me so my follow-ups are at MD Anderson.

      over 4 years ago
    • charnell's Avatar

      I am going to Barnes Jewish finally nov 1 to deal with all of this XXX non relenting pain.

      over 4 years ago
    • Floridagirl6's Avatar

      I was initially diagnosed locally (location of the cancer was mistaken and not tattooed). Chose to go to the Moffitt Cancer Center (about 200 miles away from where I live.). Don't have confidence in the local doctors after learning about the errors made. I am very happy with my doctors and care at Moffitt.

      over 4 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      Thank goodness for my original surgeon who got me all set up with my LMS onc who is with U of M, but works out of the major hospital in St Paul. He had me all set up while I was still in hospital. I had never even heard of uLMS let alone understood how it would be important to see a gyn sarcoma specialist! It isn't too far for me either.

      over 4 years ago
    • Tanager's Avatar

      I have squamous cell head & neck cancer, started where the right tonsil used to be. My tonsils were removed when I was 5, currently 58. My PCP & Endocrinologist (I have Addison’s Disease) both have offices in Indiana, PA. I live in Latrobe, PA, about s 45-minute drive. The ENT who performed sinus corrective surgery & who did the first biopsy is also in Indiana. They are all under the auspices of Indiana regional medical center, many of whose facilities are less than 5 years old, including the Women’s Center, The Human Motion Institute and the Howard Hanna oncology center. I have been to all 3 new centers for a procedure of some sort and was very impressed each time. IRMC is in a medical partnering with UPMC, the University Of pittsburgh Medical Center, so I feel that even though Indiana, PA is out in a fairly rural atea, it still has access to some of the finest medical staff and equipment available. I could travel to pittsburgh for cancer care, but it would be through stressful driving conditions that I’d much rather avoid. I did the whole commuting thing in my younger days & am NOT up for putting myself through it at my current age and condition. IRMC sends a driver for me every day , arranged by their social worker. I just have to sit back & relax as I am driven to all of my medical appts, freeing me from stress & anxiety. I am very happy with my decision to travel 45 minutes away for treatment, and if I weren’t going to Indiana, I would go to pittsburgh.

      over 4 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      Tanager- I am impressed--

      over 4 years ago
    • catlillie's Avatar

      I live in a small village in Alaska... 360 miles away is Anchorage and the Alaska Native Medical Center where I drive to every 3 weeks for my infusion and doctor visits. I had the option of Fairbanks and the Chief Andrew Isaac Medical Center which is only 206 miles away but ANMC is BY FAR a better facility. I am beyond fortunate to be Alaska Native with access to top notch medical care. (on a side note, I get to travel some of the most beautiful and winding highway in the world, see the Matanuska Glacier, all kinds of moose, caribou, bear, fox...)

      over 4 years ago
    • Crys' Avatar

      We began treatment locally. The squamous cell carcinoma was very aggressive through initial treatments. When it spread to the jawbone and along the nerve to the base of the skull it was necessary to go to Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles to have the jaw replaced and receive additional treatment. That surgery and treatment was January 2016. We set up temporary housing down the street from Cedars for two months as Mike was receiving radation twice a day every day. Since then we have made the drive over the hill and through LA traffic (120 miles each direction) every other week for Immunotherapy. We have a current setback with the complications of radiation. Incision area on mouth/chin opened up about size of quarter and exposed bone. We were down at Cedars last month for two weeks as one surgery to take his pec muscle and rotate up the neck and over the chin turned in to 3 surgeries in 5 days and removed the pec muscle from face and replaced in the chest. They discovered small original section of jawbone is dead/dying and didn't show in scans. We are back and forth more often these next few weeks for bone and vessel scans. Replacing that last section of jawbone that endured three full rounds of radation. Puzzle is to find viable bone, vessel and tissue that will grow and heal there. So December will find us back in Cedars hospital and then back and forth much more often for recovery and therapy. IF we can have success with this big surgery and have healing then we should be in a better situation than we have been in 3 years - healed, getting stronger and Immunotherapy successful in holding the cancer at least dormant. We will consider Immunotherapy back here at home then. That would be a tremendous relief. The drive is hard on Mike, especially my driving - hee hee.

      over 4 years ago
    • jacki434's Avatar

      I began treatment locally, but soon transferred to The Bill wilkerson Head and Neck Cancer Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
      It's about 60 miles from my home, but I am totally confident in the doctors and Speech Therapist there. I would highly recommend them!

      over 4 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more invasive, squamous cell carcinoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Invasive, Squamous Cell Carcinoma page.