(NewsUSA) – When individuals develop cancer, they’re likely to seek the finest treatment, even if it means traveling far from home. Take Michael Burton, a family man and worker for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. When a routine exam revealed black spots on his lungs, Burton chose a cancer treatment center — in Illinois.
Now in remission, Burton still keeps regular contact with Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). “Whatever I need, they are there for me,” Burton said. “Even if there is 4,000 miles in between.”
Burton’s not alone in traveling thousands of miles for cancer treatment. Many cancer patients choose to seek out well-known facilities or specialists for treatment, even if treatment at those facilities means a flight and extended stays away from loved ones.
One study suggests that cancer patients who travel face better outcomes than those who seek regional care. The study, conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston and the University of Chicago, followed 120 patients with head and neck cancer.
The study’s findings? For every 10 miles that patients traveled, their chance of dying from their disease lowered 3.2 percent. This held true for patients regardless of age, wealth, race or other demographic information.
The researchers hypothesize that patients who have the ability to research cancer treatment centers, and the resources to seek the best option, fare better than those who choose the nearest location for treatment. But the scientists acknowledge that more studies are needed to determine exactly why traveling cancer patients survive at higher rates.
Burton’s treatment lasted two years, and he missed spending time with his family. But that wouldn’t stop him from pursuing the same path again. “I traveled, but it was well worth it.” he said, “I received premium care at CTCA.”
For more information, call 1-800-573-1255 or visit cancercenter.com.