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Cancer Center Treatment of America question?


Mefoster

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The Cancer Treatment Center of America commercials have been on TV again lately. Has anyone went to one of these facilities? If so, did it help and how? Did the cancer go into remission? Did it prolong life......etc?

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I know personally of "Mrs. Mike"- a member from a few years ago we still have contact with, took her husband there as a "last resort"-he was really out of options where he was at and facing end of life issues, but they went ahead and went to CTCA.

Her report back was that it was a wonderfully caring place that not only took care of Mike but took care of HER too, that they focused on nutrition and physical therapy and cancer treatments as a whole,and because Mike wanted to keep fighting, they would too.

Although they couldn't offer anything "curative" for Mike, she wished they would have went their first, instead of last, because of the way they made her feel.

There are others who have been there, I am sure who have some first-hand experience to share both negative and positive.

The comercials are good and hit at the heart that's for sure- but nothing is better than hearing from someone whose really been there on the pros and cons.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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I know of one person who, I think, went there. She had a lobectomy, was staged as 1A, did not have adjuvant chemo, and will reach the 5 year survivor mark in about 3 months.

I don't think CTCA has any miracles to offer or treatments not known to other cancer centers. I also don't think CTCA had anything to do with my friend's not having a recurrence. They got the tumor out soon enough so that it hadn't spread.

Personally, I'd have a little more confidence in a cancer center affiliated with a hospital (SKM, Moffitt, Mayo, MD Anderson, etc.).

Out of curiosity, why do you ask?

Muriel

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Hi-I was going to take my Mom there on 2 different occasions in the past 18 months-both times I talked to them it was surreal.....they called back within 10 mins, they took everything I said serious, they listened, they talked, they didn't rush me off the phone. I must say this is not what we deal with @ Univ of Penn. We ended up not going because I got her Dr's to do the things I asked and the 2nd time it was to the facility in Oklahoma and we ended up going to Hopkins-I think if we went with them we would have been thrilled with them to be honest-from just talking to them on the phone. From what I understand they run the place adn treat you like "it was their Mom" because the man who started it didn't like the way his Mom was treated when she had cancer.

Dar

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Its so interseting you started this thread - I have just recently been looking at their websites to see what they have to offer. I did ask my oncologist about the procedures they offer there that are not offered at the Cleveland Clinic. He shrugged them off as - no medical evidence they work. Now, is that because they don't want you to go elsewhere?? I would hope not.

Would love to hear more info on this subject.

P.S. - Where in Ohio do you live?? Do you go to the Cleveland Clinic for treatment??

Patti B.

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Several members have been treated at CTCA and they have all said good things. I believe Debi had her surgery at the one in Oklahoma. I can only tell you that I can't remember one negative post about them.

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Darrell was treated at CTCA but I do not recall which one he was at. He had nothing but good things to say about the facility, the treatment plans and the people in general. He was really impressed with the entire plan overall.

I wish I had more recollection of the specifics we talked about....

Warmly

Christine

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MeFoster!

I dearly hope there isn't something else happening in your life right now to ask this question.

No personal experience, but second-hand knowledge and impressions. We live in an area where one of their facilities is located.

I have heard that they are warm and fuzzy, but will turn away late stage cases where their "success" stats might be brought down.

CTCA is a little bit of a joke among oncologists and many patients here, even my old Pastor. A lot of hype, slick commercials, but cancer is cancer and I'm with Muriel. Trust the larger well-established cancer centers. We have University of Chicago in our area and that would have been our selection if we needed a different/second opinion. My Pastor thought they pumped a lot of false hope up the rear-ends of a terminal member of our congregation and he was very frustrated about their approach and thought it was cruel. He went with the family on many occasions to the center.

It all depends on what your needs are. Warmth is sometimes what makes a difference, but I don't see their treatment or outcomes as any different. Read the fine print they flash on their commercials.

Hope this helps.

Welthy

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DArrell on CTCA;

Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 7:30 pm Post subject: CCTA;

All I can say is that I'm very glad that I went. If anything, I learned about the other approaches to a cure besides just chemo and radiation. There's diet, supplements, religion among some of the other areas you'll be introduced to.

It also is a great place to network with other cancer patients. I've met some great friends there.

My 2 pennies!

Darrell

I went to Zion Illinois this week for my 3 month staging. Since I've only been diagnosed a few months, this is my first go-round with staging.

I spoke to a nutritionist while I was there. Here is what they recommend for Lung Cancer patients (take whatever you need out of this. I'm just sharing what they told me):

DECREASE Consumption of:

Saturated Fat - Cononut, palm, palm kernel, butter, beef, lard, etc.

Animal protein: source of saturated fat, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics

Dairy: Use low fat or nonfat sources.

Alcohol

INCREASE consumption of:

Carotenoids: 1+ serving daily (carrots, sweet potato, cantaloupe, apricots, spinach, etc). Powerful antioxidants

Pineapple: 1 serving daily. Decreases inflamation. Bromelein in pineapple has anti-metastatic potential in animal studies

EPA: Omega 3-Fatty Acids. 2+ meals/week (seafood: halibut, cod, tuna, mackerel, sardines packed in olive oil, salmon)

Legemus/Soy: Not my favorite here ... 3+ servings/week

Green Tea: 1+ cup daily - Good source of phytochemicals

Cold Pressed Organic Oils: No more than 1-2 tablespoons per day.

I saw a doctor of naturopathic medicine. Here is a breakdown of what they told me to get ...

melatonin - 1x 20mg at night

green tea extract - 2x 550mg daily

vitamin b6 - 1x 100mg

l-glutamine - 2x 10grams

immunomax - 2x daily

EPA max - 2x 360mg

calcium citrate + vitamin D - 1 tablet daily

Whatever you want to use is fine with me. Again, I'm here to just toss my hat in to the ring with more knowledge.

I had an incredibly good time at CTCA. I was not treated like a number. I highly recommend going there. Please PM me if you want to know more.

Glad to be home!!!!

_________________

I think Maybe Darrell (R.I.P.) was a salesman for them!! :):):)

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Thanks Randy for bringing back that post from Darrell.

He was such a sweet guy.

Shannon (Mrs. Mike) and Mike had very much the same great experience. While I don't think they have anything above or beyond what another large hospital may have to offer, they put everything in once centralized location, have specialists in every field on-site and thru social work and addressing emotional issues of the patient and family- come up with your overall "plan" encompassing all those issues- which is what I think alot of places fail to do. You are sort of on your own with your treatment schedule and left to fend for yourself and seek out your own support and information.

It's a personal choice for sure.

For us, we have MD Anderson, UT Southwest, Baylor, MCMRC, Plaza Medical, and N. TX Oncology- whereas other towns in other states may not be so lucky.

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My mom went to CTCA. I absolutely cannot say enough positive things about that place, and neither could my mom. I have lived through both parents being diagnosed with stage IIIB NSCLC, my dad first in 1998. He died in 9/99. My mom said all along that she wished so deeply that we knew about CTCA when he was diagnosed. They treated not only my mom, but my husband, my kids, and my best friend (Who was, for all intents and purposes) my mom's caregiver) like gold. They set up all of our appointments, made hotel arrangements when necessary, and dealt with the insurance companies every step of the way. As far as it being a "joke," I have to respectfully disagree. My mom's oncologist, Dr. Citrin, is a world-renowned PhD. His impressive stats are as follows:

Dr. Citrin joined CTCA in 2004 with more than three decades of oncology experience. He was Director of Inpatient Oncology and assistant professor of medicine at the University of California in San Diego. He then served as associate professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City before joining the faculty of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago as an associate professor of medicine in 1982. He also served as Medical Director for a year at Mt. Sinai Hospital North in Chicago.

Board certified, Dr. Citrin received his medical training at the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland. He also completed an oncology fellowship program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

We felt absolutely HONORED to be in his presence, and felt as though he really took time with us at each and every visit, and respected us and our opinions.

One thing I must stress: CTCA is an INTEGRATIVE medicine hospital. This is why they get a lot of upturned noses. The doctors work side-by-side with alternative therapies, which you normally don't see. When my dad was diagnosed, we were scared $h!tless, and didn't know which way to turn, because if you look towards alternative therapies, everyone will tell you, "Don't do chemo, you will poison your body!" and if you go to your oncologist, he/she will say, "alternative medicine-pushers are quacks! Stay away from them!" At CTCA, it is a beautiful balance of both. And personally, when we learned of first my dad's and then my mom's diagnoses, I felt that if someone had told me that perhaps standing on my head half the day might help slow the progression of cancer cells, I would have had my parents flipped over on their heads in a second.

Additionally, having been to my dad's clinic/hospital when he was diagnosed, I know from experience that a doctor may say, "You have cancer. You have 'x' months to live. Here is your chemo schedule." And basically, you deal with the impact this will have on you physically, emotionally, not to mention what it will do to your family. At CTCA, my mom had a phsychotherapist, who magically appeared at the door to her hospital room each month she was admitted for chemo. She also helped me; I had many private sessions with her. My mom had a nutritionist who tailored her diet according to her very difficult needs as a dialysis/chemotherapy patient. And it seemed that the whole town was "CTCA-friendly;" the hotel gave patients a substantial discount, plus their restaurant offered a patient menu full of fresh , healthy approved foods. We met lots of patients and their families there and formed instant, lifelong bonds. We were honestly treated as though we were their only patient and family.

And now, I will say emphatically, I do NOT work there! And yes, my mom passed away in 2006. But the last time she saw her oncologist, he told her, "I am not ready to give up." I don't remember who said that they heard that CTCA will not take late-stage patients because they bring their stats down, but I can say from experience that this is definitely not true. I've been in the waiting room with countless late-stage patients.

Good luck to the OP.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My mom has gone to the one here in Oklahoma since she was diagnosed EIGHT years ago. They may not have the 'miracle drug', but they sure do CARE and treat people with a lot more dignity and respect than any other place we've been. God is ultimately our healer, but they're a wonderful place to get treatment.

God bless,

Christy

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