Comparing Cancer Care Providers; You Have the Power to Choose

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Dr. Lyons


If you or someone you know hears the words, “you have cancer,” it is one of the scariest moments of your life. While time is certainly of the essence, there are many choices to make and selecting a cancer center in which to receive treatment is one of the most important.

It’s key to know that not all cancer centers are the same. A conversation with your doctor is a great place to start, but also talking to friends and family members who have experienced cancer is a good way to gain insight. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are national clinical trials offered?
  • Are there supportive services such as patient navigation, nutritional counseling and survivorship services?
  • Are there teams of physicians and experts collaborating on gold-standard care?

Another consideration when selecting a cancer center is to look for one that is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). The CoC recognizes cancer care programs for their commitment to providing comprehensive, high-quality and multidisciplinary patient-centered care.

I am proud to share that Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center has been continuously accredited by the CoC for more than 20 years. In addition, our Cancer Center was granted the Outstanding Achievement Award during its most recent survey due to excellence demonstrated in every standard.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is an exceptional award given to a very select group of cancer centers that achieve excellence in providing quality care to patients. Only seven percent of cancer centers across the country receive this honor; and we are one of only 16 U.S. cancer programs to receive this award for surveys performed January 1 – June 30, 2017.

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To me, this award illustrates the dedication and collaboration that exists within the walls of this center—where treatment teams maintain a singular focus of doing everything we can to fight cancer. And it gives my patients peace of mind.

“More and more, we’re finding that patients and their families want to know how the health care institutions in their communities compare with one another. They want access to information in terms of who’s providing the best quality of care, and they want to know about overall patient outcomes. Through this recognition program, I’d like to think we’re playing a small, but vital role, in helping them make informed decisions on their cancer care.”
– Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, FACP, chair of the Commission on Cancer

If cancer enters your life or that of someone you love, I encourage you to weigh all your options before choosing a facility for treatment. Information on quality cancer care is widely available and can help you in selecting a cancer center that’s right for you.


About Dr. Lyons

Dr. Lyons John M. Lyons, III, MD, FACS, is chair of Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Cancer Committee, the body that oversees the organization’s Commission on Cancer accreditation process. Dr. Lyons received his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. He completed his general surgery internship and residency at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA, and his Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.
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