When facing a cancer diagnosis, one of the most important decisions you can make is where to go for treatment. Choosing an oncologist and a cancer treatment center with experience in your particular diagnosis is essential to getting the best care possible.
Each year, U.S. News & World Report releases its listing for the top hospitals in the country broken down by specialty, like cancer. For the most recent 2017– 2018 list, the top 5 cancer hospitals in the country included hospitals with known mesothelioma programs that are helping hundreds of patients each year.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has been ranked first or second in the U.S. News list since 1990 for cancer and other areas of health care. MD Anderson has the capabilities to treat a wide range of cancers, and even has a large focus on rare cancers like mesothelioma.
The cancer center is home to over 30 mesothelioma specialists, ranging from surgical oncologists to pulmonologists, who work together to create a customized treatment plan for each individual patient. The center is also well known for its groundbreaking research in helping develop new diagnostic methods and novel agents to fight the disease. For patients interested in emerging treatments, MD Anderson frequently offers a variety of clinical trials as they are at the forefront of research for mesothelioma and many other cancers.
In addition to their extensive knowledge and capabilities in treatment, MD Anderson Cancer Center also offers a number of support services. Patients can find counseling and support groups, as well as complementary therapies in yoga, music therapy and acupuncture. Since a healthy overall lifestyle is important in supporting cancer treatments, the center also offers classes and programs around nutrition, tobacco use, and more to give patients support in all of their needs.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City offers specialists in all types of cancer, enabling them to develop personalized treatment plans for patients facing any kind of diagnosis. This cancer center has treated many mesothelioma patients over the years, and has a dedicated team of expert oncologists with experience treating the disease. The treatment team meets on a regular basis to discuss treatment plans for patients together, like what surgery may be an option for a particular case or what clinical trial to consider.
The cancer center is also heavily involved in research, conducting clinical trials to improve diagnostic methods and find new ways to treat even rare diseases like mesothelioma. With such dedication to research, oncologists here know and can utilize the latest treatments in immunotherapy, radiation techniques and more to ensure patients have the best opportunity at long-term survival.
The Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, treats about 200 mesothelioma patients each year, in addition to thousands of other patients facing other serious cancer diagnoses. The clinic is recognized as a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, meeting strict standards in their approach for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for mesothelioma and other cancers is treated as a collaboration among many experts, including those in pulmonary medicine, radiation oncology and surgery. Oncologists develop treatment plans as a team for each individual to provide a well-rounded thorough course of treatment. Like many of the other cancer centers considered the best in the country, the Mayo Clinic is involved in their own clinical trials and extensive research at all of their locations, with the latest technology and advancements available to better treat their patients.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute & Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center
Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, both located in Boston, collaborate and share expert oncologists to be able to treat more patients and be able to advance studies from the clinical setting directly to patient care. These two centers are founding members of the International Mesothelioma Program, the largest mesothelioma program in the world to improve research and patient care. Together, this collaboration is able to treat more mesothelioma patients than anywhere else in the world.
Both cancer centers offer state-of-the-art technology to facilitate treatment, like mesothelioma surgeries performed with robotic assistance or using minimally invasive video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). In addition to the latest treatment options, both Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center offer patients extensive support with support groups, counseling, and help with housing and financial needs.
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance & University of Washington Medical Center
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which includes the affiliated University of Washington Medical Center, round out the top 5 cancer treatment centers ranked. The two clinics collaborate for mesothelioma treatment, as well as other types of cancer. For instance, surgical procedures for mesothelioma are generally exclusively performed at the UW Medical Center.
The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and UW Medical Center have a strong focus on mesothelioma with a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to cancer care. As they are involved in their own research and work with other neighboring hospitals, patients always have access to the latest treatments. They also offer extensive programs for cancer survivors to ensure they continue to receive the support and care necessary following cancer treatment. Their Survivorship Clinic offers expert assistance in understanding the long-term or late effects of treatment, lifestyle changes to help prevent recurrence, and continued treatment needs to help combat any lingering side effects from treatment.