There’s a common misconception among area residents that in order to receive the best possible cancer care, it’s necessary to travel to a major cancer center or university situated many miles away. But the truth of the matter is, world-class cancer care is available right here at home—a short drive from any point in the community—at The Toledo Clinic Cancer Centers (TTCCC).
“We may not have the same name recognition as some of the larger institutions, but in the vast majority of cases we deliver equal or better care here and it’s just minutes from home,” says Rex Mowat, MD, of TTCCC. “We also participate in 60 active clinical trials and have research ongoing. Plus, being a private practice that isn’t owned by a hospital or large institution, we can offer the highest quality care and services at a fraction of the cost.”
Local access to cancer care offers numerous advantages beyond the short drive. Dr. Mowat points out that most cancer patients are older and may be frail, so they commonly depend on their spouse, children, or friends for transportation. If every test, procedure, or office visit requires an out-of-town trip, loved ones’ lives can be disrupted on every level—especially if they’re still working and/or have families of their own to care for.
“Then, when you arrive at that distant center, it can be very difficult to figure out where to park, which building you need to be in, and which floor to go to. When you come here, on the other hand, you don’t have the extra cost of traveling back and forth, parking is very straightforward, the building is relatively small, and you can get in and out quickly, so visits are a lot less confusing and frustrating for patients and their families,” states Dr. Mowat.
Being part of the community also means there’s a good chance that patients will recognize at least some of the staff when they come to TTCCC for care. That familiarity is reassuring to patients as well as beneficial to the clinicians. “If members of the staff know the patients and their families, it’s more likely they’ll be aware of issues that might impact their ability to comply with care, such as financial difficulties or lack of access to transportation,” Dr. Mowat says.
Furthermore, the staff and physicians at TTCCC have the experience and expertise necessary to help move patients through the various systems and processes involved in their diagnosis and care—all the labs, imaging, biopsies, IV port placement, surgical procedures, etc.—at a markedly more rapid pace than is often possible at larger centers. As Dr. Mowat explains, “We’re involved with all these systems and know exactly how to get patients through the steps as quickly as possible. That’s important not just from the standpoint of convenience and minimizing worry, but also because the sooner we know what the cancer is and what stage it’s at, the sooner we can get the patient started on the appropriate treatment.”
Of course, offering world-class care here at home doesn’t mean TTCCC receives no input from outside experts. The physicians there routinely discuss patient cases with their colleagues both in the practice and at other cancer centers across the country. And if it is necessary to send patients elsewhere for any reason, the TTCCC staff will facilitate the referral. “We’re also working toward the ability to offer virtual second opinions. We’re not there just yet, but it’s coming,” states Dr. Mowat.❦