Distances Traveled for Skin Cancer Treatment
Everyone facing skin cancer has his or her own needs when it comes to treatment. For some of you, it means getting treated locally by doctors with whom you have history. For others of you, it can mean traveling far to get treated by bigger, well-known facilities that you trust will deliver.
Treatment plans are personal. And so is how far you're willing to travel to receive care.
To open up a conversation about this topic, we reached out on the SkinCancer.net Facebook page. In mid-April, we asked, "How far did you have to travel for skin cancer treatment?" More than 30 of you responded, and here's what you had to say:
Well known cancer treatment centers
When it comes to care, a lot of you targeted the big names in cancer treatment, choosing to travel long distances to be treated by facilities you've heard and read a lot about. And especially when it comes to surgeries, many of you opted to go farther for care to receive the utmost care when it comes to precision treatments, like Mohs surgery, a micrographic treatment where thin layers of cancerous skin are removed.
"I live in Florida and I've traveled to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC for Mohs surgery."
"I drive about two hours to go to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee. I waited four months just to get my first appointment!"
"Duke University in North Carolina. I live in South Carolina, about four hours away. Lucky to be able to go to the best for melanoma surgery."
"About three-four hours to University of Michigan but only for my second lymph node surgery to see if it spread. Luckily, it didn't. They were wonderful."
Close to home
For others of you, living in big cities or areas where skin cancer is more of an issue, more treatment options can be found closer to home. One benefit of this option is being able to see your doctor more often, allowing him or her a greater familiarity with your history.
"Living in Southern California with many sun-loving people, my derms are within 3 miles. One told me to I kept him in business for many years, as I have red hair and freckles. Luckily, no melanomas."
"Right here in my city. Maybe 2 miles."
For some of you, you're traveling out of your neighborhood but not so far as to need to fly or make big travel arrangements-which allows for frequent visits, which is a safe and conservative plan of action.
"I drive 68 miles from my home. This doctor can get me in within 48 hours if I find something suspicious. She is thorough and explains everything. Been on three-month checks for four years now … she has found melanoma early twice now!"
Going the distance
Those who are fortunate enough to have options recognize that distance isn't always a limiting factor when it comes to ensuring the right standard of care. And when it comes to your life, you're worth investing in, whether it's traveling a few miles or across the country.
"As far as I need to for the cure."
We wish to thank everyone who shared on this topic. By creating a dialogue about skin cancer and treatment, we hope those who have questions get them answered, and those feeling afraid or alone in the process find the support they need.
How far have you had to travel for a derm visit?
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