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Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides support for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
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At our National Cancer Information Center trained Cancer Information Specialists can answer questions 24 hours a day, every day of the year to empower you with accurate, up-to-date information to help you make educated health decisions. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with valuable services and resources.
Or ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
When you or another family member has cancer, you want to get the best possible medical care and treatment. Choosing a cancer center or hospital can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make. There are many excellent cancer care centers in the United States, but how do you know where to look?
Here are some things to think about as you choose where you want to get treated.
The doctor who found your cancer is the first person you should ask. Try asking: “If you or someone you loved had this cancer, where would you go for treatment?” Often, the doctor will suggest a cancer center even if you don’t ask.
If your doctor isn’t sure of your diagnosis, but thinks there’s a chance you might have cancer, you can ask: “If you were in my place, where would you go first?” Ask for at least 2 or 3 suggestions and find out if you need a cancer center that specializes in a certain type of cancer. Then find out if these cancer centers accept your health insurance plan.
You might find these websites helpful in locating information about cancer centers near you.*
* Inclusion of a facility or a health care professional in any of these databases does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.
Be sure to find out how much experience a center has in treating your type of cancer. It's important to know the cancer center can provide all the services you need. For example, larger hospitals may have more experience with different kinds of cancers and offer more services for people with cancer. This is extra important if you have a type of cancer that is rare or more challenging to treat.
Our How to Choose a Cancer Center or Hospital worksheet can help you figure out what questions to ask and keep track of the information you find. For instance, you might want to ask:
If you live in a small town, you may need to travel to a larger city to find a center the best meets your needs. This may be the key to getting the best possible treatment and might be worth the extra travel or inconvenience to you. Larger cancer centers or hospitals are also be more likely to have clinical trials (research studies) you might be able to take part in.
In addition, you many want to see whether the healthcare organizations you are looking at are accredited using specific quality standards.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
American College of Surgeons. Commission on Cancer: Improving Outcomes for Patients with Cancer. facs.org. Accessed at https://www.facs.org/quality-programs/cancer/coc on September 15, 2021.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Choosing a Cancer Treatment Center. Cancer.net. Accessed at
on July 29, 2021.
National Cancer Institute. Finding Health Care Services. Cancer.gov. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/managing-care/services on August 3, 2021.
The Joint Commission. About Quality Check®. Accessed at https://www.qualitycheck.org/ on September 15, 2021.
Last Revised: September 17, 2021
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