Factors to consider when choosing a cancer treatment center
August 15, 2012 11:31 AM Subscribe
Please give me recommendations on good Bay Area cancer treatment centers.
My mother has just been diagnosed with a non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The doctors believe it is probably either hairy cell leukemia or splenic marginal zone lymphoma, and are waiting on further results from her bone marrow biopsy to confirm and start treatment.
I'd appreciate recommendations on good Bay Area cancer treatment centers. We are located in San Jose.
We've been at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View thus far, and I want to explore our options to make sure that she gets the best care possible.
These are my thoughts on the care she's received so far:
Our three doctors have been great when we see them, about once a day.
The facilities are clean.
The nurses have really been all over the place in terms of competency and bedside manner.
(My mom was admitted to the hospital a week ago after going to the ER for a high fever, and spent the first six days on a floor for (I gather) general maladies while tests were pending. A third of the nurses and nurse assistants were wonderful. A third seemed competent but chilly to the point of rudeness, leaving my mother feeling anxious and disempowered. And a third were downright incompetent, trying to give her the wrong medicine, not washing their hands until asked, and sometimes speaking English poorly to the point where communication was extremely difficult. We moved to the cancer ward yesterday and the nurse quality seems much higher so far, but we haven't been on this new floor very long and I am still anxious about the nursing/care culture.)
One of the doctors has encouraged us to seek second opinions and explore our options with where we want my mom to receive treatment. Apparently the type of cancer she has is not going to get any worse if we wait a few days before deciding. We'll talk to her primary care physician this afternoon, but I thought I'd draw on Metafilter wisdom in the meantime.
What factors did you consider when deciding where to seek treatment for cancer?
What weight should we give to the nursing quality when making our decision? Are there questions I should ask or signs to look for to get a feel for the nursing quality on this new floor?
We're new at this, so I also welcome any wish-I'd-known advice for making sure my mom is comfortable and well taken care of.