According to a new study from researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, when it comes to survival, where you are treated really does make a difference. The study looked at older patients with advanced head and neck cancers and found that patients who were treated in hospitals that dealt more frequently with head and neck cancer cases were 15% less likely to die of the disease. The study also found that patients treated at a National Cancer Center designated cancer institute were 12% less likely to die of their disease.
While eye-opening, these findings are not altogether surprising. Hospitals and cancer centers that see more head and neck cancer patients have more experience treating the disease and with how it reacts to those treatments. Typically, they also have a team of doctors from a variety of disciplines equipped to deal with the specific complexities of treating head and neck cancers.
This is not to say that lower-volume hospitals are not providing adequate care. In fact, the study showed that both high and low-volume facilities were equally meeting the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guidelines for cancer treatment. The study simply suggests that when it comes to actual survival rates, higher-volume hospitals and cancer institutes saw more success. Whatever the indications, this is valuable information to consider for anyone seeking head and neck cancer treatment.
We are truly lucky to have such a wonderful facility as the OSU James Comprehensive Cancer Center here in Columbus. The James is one of the leading cancer institutions in the nation and one which we support and work with very closely at the Joan’s Foundation. Their groundbreaking research continues to save lives and improve the care and treatment of cancer patients all over the world. We are proud to be partnered with such an outstanding and cutting edge institution.
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