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Cancer Treatment Centers of America
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Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Cancer Treatment Centers of America on 08/01/2008 22:38:37 MDT Print View

I need the good and bad of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Anyone have any experience with them, I hope not but I would like to know.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
CTCA on 08/02/2008 02:01:57 MDT Print View

I have no experience with them per se, Chris, but I do remember that they had some kind of suit against them in the 1990's, to the effect that they were exaggerating their results. I'm not sure what came of it. I understand that they use established mainstream treatments, but they are also big on adding alternative therapies as well.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America on 08/02/2008 05:31:23 MDT Print View

1996 FTC Charge against Cancer Center Treatment of America.

The good might be that some patients really like their more "holistic" approach. I'd doubt any claims that they have increased survival rates over other cancer centers like MD Anderson, which has a better reputation anyway.

The bad is they have/had a tendency to deceive vulnerable patients with their claims of increased survival. Beware of any pimping of alternative therapies to further separate you from your retirement income.

Edited by jshann on 08/02/2008 05:43:21 MDT.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America on 08/04/2008 05:28:33 MDT Print View

As a cancer survivor I created my own personal healing therapies. I went the traditional route, using the cancer center here in town, with an excellent team of doctors,medical staff. On the flip side, I believe in alternative methods as well. I used acupuncture for side effects of chemo which worked very well, and also used a homeopathic physician who aided in my recovery after chemotherapy. It helped build my immune system, strength and energy. While I use only a small portion of the supplements now (immune boosters) I felt I had control over my entire healing adventure.

Do your homework. Meet with several doctors and find a place that fits to your liking, belief system. The first doctor I had at one hospital gave me less than 5 months and was so cold. I sought out a true cancer center and now have been cancer-free for 4 years this month.

I hope this helps.

Timothy Foutz
(glad777) - MLife

Locale: Virginia
Re Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America on 08/04/2008 06:39:44 MDT Print View

I have a very rare type of leukemia. I am treated at the NIH/NCI in Bethesda Maryland. Here are a few things I have learned over the last 12 years I hope this helps.
1)See TWO Medical Oncologists and be sure they are not in the same practice.Get a second opinion of your illness. This may sound crazy but I have known people who turned out not to have cancer after being told they did and people who have had a diffrent kind than they were told at first.
2)Stick with the one with the best personality/attitude. This makes a huge diffrence. The attitude of your doc is very important. Do not get involved with a doc with a negative attitude.
3) Check the NIH/NCI website for information on protocols they are running. If they have one and you get in they pay for your treament plus travel to and from there.
4) Don't let cancer freak you out. Stay cool and calm learn as much as you can about what you have. DO NOT go into denial that you have it and pretend you don't. I did this and I was a psych major in college. I found out I was sick 30 days to the day after graduation. This is very bad and I see it alot in people who are in thier first year of having cancer.
5) Join a support group. I know this sounds lame to alot of people but it's really great to have others to talk to and share info with.
6) Find a good psychololgist who works with cancer patiants your doc can recomend one. The second month is the worst it seems that is when things sink in. Get on an antidepressant if the psychologist/physchiatrist thinks you need them. DO NOT try to be a tough guy about this it just makes it worse. You need the lowest level of stress you can manage.
7)If you need any information or help with anything PM me. I have gathered much info in the last 12 years and I try to help anyone out I can. I am at NIH every other Friday for treatment so I have the ability to gather info on sight for anyone who needs it and I will be glad to do so anytime.
I hope this information will be helpful to you and good luck.

Edited by glad777 on 08/06/2008 12:43:28 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re Re: Cancer Treatment Centers of America on 08/04/2008 08:35:32 MDT Print View

I would second Timothy's mention of getting a second opinion on the pathology diagnosis. Remember, your oncologist is not making the specific diagnosis, but the pathologist (separate physician specialty) is.

Making a pathologic diagnosis of tissues or fluid (blood, ect) is not always straight forward. There are definite areas of gray especially when diagnosing rare cancers like what Timothy said he has. Some hematopathologists (who would diagnose leukemia) may even disagree on a diagnosis. Some diagnoses are so hard to make it may be need to be seen by more than one expert in the field.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
My Wife on 08/04/2008 09:56:35 MDT Print View

This is about my wife. Our second daughter Sarah was born on August 3rd of last year and 3 weeks later my wife was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer. We have a local Oncology doc here in Wichita Falls and have been going to Baylor Medical Center as well. Due to her age, 35, and relatively good health they hit her hard with the chemo. They were using above protocol quantities, the results were very good at first. X-Ray showed that her lungs were clear but a PET Scan showed activity. She was on the dividing line between and Extensive and Limited diagnosis.

The cancer spread to her brain but was very minimal in her lung. She was treated with radiation to her head and lung. Since the end of the radiation treatment the cancer has spread to her liver and there is a lot of fluid buildup in her lung that is causing her severe back pain. She is taking Hydrocodne and has been on antibiotics for the pneumonia she developed.

She has just been switched to Hycamtin to try a different type of chemo. Our doc here in Wichita Falls said this is to hopefully prolong her life until a clinical trial becomes available.

This is the background of the Caner Treatment Centers of America question. We seem to be running out of options.

My 10 year old daughter is in California at Disneyland right now with my parents. We have not told them about the cancer spreading to the liver.

We are waiting to see if our insurance will cover the Cancer Treatment Centers.

Here is my little family

No Hair

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Cancer Treatment Centers of America on 08/04/2008 10:23:04 MDT Print View

Christopher. My thoughts are with you and your family. There isn't much i can say, but i hope everything works out. My mother had a lung removed 5 years ago due to lung cancer, and she is fit and healthy now. There is always hope.

Timothy Foutz
(glad777) - MLife

Locale: Virginia
National Cancer Institute on 08/04/2008 13:53:09 MDT Print View

Go to the NCI webstite ASAP. Check out the protocols they have available. Sometimes it is a good idea to have your doctor contact them as they sometimes have protocols they are gettting ready to go forward with but have not been anounced. Again if there is anything I can do to help you let me know. The NCI is few floors above where I go at NIH I will be glad to help you in anyway I can. Treatment and travel are covered by the goverment after your assesment visit.
Good luck

Edited by glad777 on 08/04/2008 13:56:41 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: My Wife on 08/04/2008 19:50:59 MDT Print View

Christopher, great pic. Thanks for sharing that. I'm sorry your wife has to go through this illness.

Small cell carcinoma of the lung is typically a straightforward diagnosis, but it does have its mimics under the microscope. She responded initially to treatment so the diagnosis may not be an issue.

As far as treatment goes, Timothy has a good idea in checking the NCI website. MD Anderson is another place to talk to. And there's nothing wrong with talking to CCTA either to get their thoughts on further treatment.

I wish you and your family the best!

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
CTCA on 08/06/2008 11:19:30 MDT Print View

We are off to the CTCA in Illinois. We leave Monday afternoon. We will stay for 5 days. They cover the cost of the flight, we have to pay for our room for about $45 a night.

The CTCA docs will do a complete workup over the 5 days and see docs and counselors, spiritual and nutritional. If there is a treatment they want Andrea to try they will put her on it immediately.

We contacted the NCI and they gave us a set of clinical trials in TX. We have contacted those that appear to be applicable. Waiting to hear from them.

Thanks everybody for the words of encouragement, hope, and advice.

Timothy Foutz
(glad777) - MLife

Locale: Virginia
Good Luck on 08/06/2008 12:39:46 MDT Print View

Good luck and stay stong.

Monica Bernat
(bernat25) - F
ccta on 09/19/2008 09:40:47 MDT Print View

I am interested in knowing how your visit with CCTA went for you and your family. My father has been a patient for the last 3 months receiving treatment for stage IV cancer. He is only 55 yrs old and fighting for his life. Back in May the hospital told us we had two weeks max for him to live. He is still very malnutrioned, but with us. I would like to know if you have had success with CCTA and if you feel they are doing all they can in your wife's battle with this horrific disease. Your family is in my prayers. You have a beautiful family.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
CTCA on 09/19/2008 16:47:57 MDT Print View

So sorry to hear about your Dad, I will add him to my list in my prayers.

There would be nothing lost to give CTCA a try. The hospital will pay for your Dad and one caretaker on the initial visit and then just the patient after that. My wife is in the long term visit quarters, which are $20 a night, she is being treated as outpatient.

I think we are having success but it is early to tell. The Oncology doc here in Wichita Falls was going to try one more chemo and then try to find her a clinical trial, which meant all but given up in my mind.

So far at the CTCA they have placed, and since removed, a chest tube to remove the fluids the tumors have created. Our WF doc gave her antibiotics and that was it. So much fluid had built up that it was overflowing into her other lung. They just completed radiation on her shoulder and are starting radiation on her lower back, all of which the WF doc said she would not do. The doc also wants to try 3 different kinds of chemo, prolonging her life to be able to use again the initial chemo which was the most effective.

The CTCA is a very comprehensive, holistic hospital. The food the serve is mostly organic and cancer fighting/reducing foods, very nutritious.

I have a very high opinion of the hospital, but again I have to because my wife's, and the mother of my children, life is at stake.

Call them today 800-268-0786 anytime, give it a try.

They have locations in Zion, Philadelphia, Tulsa, and Seattle. Tulsa is much closer but due to insurance we travel to Zion.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Andrea, the Love of My Life on 09/28/2008 20:40:37 MDT Print View

Something did not feel right so I drove Emily, Sarah, and myself to Chicago from Texas most of Friday night and arriving at the hospital early Saturday evening.

My wife's heart, even though it was a beautiful heart, gave out at 6:15 this morning. She was in ICU by the time Emily, Sarah, and I got here. She was not responding but the nurses thought that she could hear us. I was able to spend my last night with her holding her hand and talking to her all night long.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Condolences on 09/28/2008 20:49:59 MDT Print View

Christopher, I am so sorry to hear your news. I can only imagine what you are going through, and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Ken

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Concolences on 09/28/2008 21:19:43 MDT Print View

You're in my prayers, Christopher.

I know several people who have had good experiences with MD Anderson Hospital in Houston.

Don (Biloxi) Carter
(donjuan70) - F

Locale: Red Neck Riviera
very sorry, for your loss on 09/28/2008 21:38:02 MDT Print View

chris,so sorry to hear of your family's loss.very tragic,I don't know what to say.except stay strong for your family and may god bless you.Don

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Andrea, the Love of My Life on 09/28/2008 21:44:21 MDT Print View

Christopher, I have been following your story and am terribly sad to hear that you have lost your wife Andrea. I lost my mum to cancer just over a month ago. It was a tremendous shock and a devastating loss, even though we knew things were going badly. After a while I hope you will take comfort from the fact that Andrea is living on through your children. I have found it reassuring and comforting to make some of my mum's favourite things a larger part of my own life. She loved plants, and I now have a dozen or so beautiful plants around my home which I adore. I'm sure you will be able to find many ways, both small and large, to keep Andrea an important part of your and your children's lives. Best wishes, and my thoughts are with you.

Timothy Foutz
(glad777) - MLife

Locale: Virginia
So sorry to hear this. on 09/28/2008 21:55:10 MDT Print View

Stay tough and take care of your kids. I had really hoped something would work out for her. I am so sad to hear this.