If I Get Chemotherapy At A Community Hospital Or Doctor’s Office, Do I Have The Same Options As a Cancer Center?

Question: If I want to get my chemotherapy treatment at a community hospital or doctor's office, would I have the same options as I would have at a cancer center?

Answer: Most treatments, including chemotherapy or hormone therapy, can be given in the community, particularly if it's standard of care. Convenience and access to care is extremely important.

Cancer centers do have access to new things, to investigational therapies, that might not be available in the community. Also, some communities only have a part time oncologist; a medical oncologist specializing in cancer care -- and they may come only once a week. And then internists, who are not necessarily specializing in oncology, might then cover the practice. It's what you have to be comfortable with.

Cancer centers also may have state of the art new equipment, the newest research and the newest drugs. Also one of the important things that cancer centers can provide is a team of doctors that specialize in the care of breast cancer patients, and so they are used to working together and providing a comprehensive review of your situation. Many patients come to cancer centers for a second opinion to decide whether their treatment options have been fully explored.

Next: What are My Treatment Options if the Cancer Does Not Respond to the Prescribed Chemotherapy?

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