Although proton therapy is a new form of treatment for various types of cancers, many centers or hospitals are now offering it. According to the National Association for Proton Therapy or NAPT, there are 37 regional centers across the United States.
So, with all the proton therapy locations or centers out there for you to choose from, how would you know you’ve picked the right one for you? To help you, here are some tips you should consider:
• Ask Around for Recommendations
The best people you can ask for suggestions or recommendations are your trusted family members and friends. They may know a great proton therapy center that’s perfect for you. In case they’ve also undergone proton therapy treatment, consider asking them about their experience.
Find out if the center has a waiting area, how big it is, how long you have to wait, etc. You can also ask how the staff treats their patients. And if your friends or family members can’t recommend a center, feel free to ask your doctor. They may know a colleague who’s working in a center or hospital that offers proton therapy.
• Search the Internet and Create a List of Options
People can find almost everything on the internet. So, if the people you know can’t recommend a proton therapy center, you can always search the internet for a list of proton therapy centers. To narrow down your options, consider those that are near your place first. This way, you won’t be spending too much on transportation if you decide to visit the facility.
• Check the Center’s Website
If the medical facilities or hospitals on your list have websites, consider checking them out. These sites usually contain, if not all, then almost everything there is to know about the centers. This includes their list of services, history, and contact details.
The websites may also contain the center’s patient testimonials, feedback, or comments. Consider reading them to get some information about what you can expect from the proton therapy center.
In addition, checking the center’s website can give you an idea about how good their reputation is. Sometimes, even if the hospital or center is just near your place, you wouldn’t want to go there because of their bad reputation. So, do a little more research about the centers on your list. Try to find out their success rate in treating cancers with proton therapy.
• Consider the Cost
The cost of proton therapy treatment can be different from one center to another. It can be expensive, so you should choose those that offer the most reasonable rates. But this doesn’t mean that you should go for the one that provides the lowest cost. There are other things you should consider, such as location and reputation.
You should also check with your health insurance provider if they cover proton therapy. In the US, Medicare generally covers it.
• Set Up an Appointment and Visit the Hospital or Center
Before choosing a center for your proton therapy treatment, consider setting up an appointment and visiting them first. This way, you can meet the staff in person and check the facility for yourself. This would also be the perfect time for you to ask any questions you may have in mind, such as how they perform proton therapy and what preparations you need to do before the treatment.
Make sure that you are comfortable not only with the facility but also with the doctors and staff. They’ll be the ones who’ll take care of your health, so you shouldn’t feel any hesitations about working with them. But if you feel like something is wrong, you should trust your instinct and look for another proton therapy center.
Locate a Proton Therapy Center
If you’re looking for proton therapy locations or centers in the US, you can find some in the states of California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia. In Tennessee, you can find centers in Nashville and Knoxville.
If you don’t live in any of those states, other places also offer proton therapy. So, feel free to ask your doctor or inquire about hospitals near you.