When you are diagnosed with cancer, you want to get treatment as quickly as possible. However, the cancer treatment options at home are not always the best ones available for your specific type of cancer.
For many people, getting the treatment they need to beat cancer finally means leaving the country to seek cancer treatment abroad.
Traveling for cancer treatment is often called “medical tourism,” although it has more to do with medical treatment than acting like a typical tourist.
In this article, we’ll discuss some things to consider as you weigh your options for seeking treatment at home or overseas cancer treatment.
Why Do People Go Abroad to treat Cancer?
Even though America is home to some of the world’s best cancer treatment centers, people choose to travel for medical treatment for several reasons.
One reason that Americans go abroad is to save money. It’s no secret that the American healthcare system is costly, especially for people who need surgery, medication, or extensive treatments.
Some private health insurance companies may offer reimbursement to patients seeking care outside U.S. borders. If you are interested in pursuing medical tourism, check with your insurance company to see if you can get reimbursed for some of your expenses.
For alternative cancer treatments, the cost of care isn’t the main reason. Instead, it’s the fact that patients can pursue alternative treatment options in other countries that are not available in the U.S.
For example, doctors in Mexico can use alternative cancer treatments as soon as they are available without needing to wait for approval from a government entity, the way American doctors do. In the U.S., many alternative treatments fall outside the “standard of care,” meaning doctors cannot pursue them, even if they believe those treatments will benefit their patients.
Where are the Leading Destinations for Cancer Treatments Abroad?
Many American cancer patients choose to go to Mexico because it is close, cheap, and relatively easy to reach. In addition, they can get access to treatments that aren’t available in the U.S.
Some people go to Europe for cancer treatment. Germany is a popular destination because it adheres to strict ethical standards but has a lower treatment cost than the United States.
What Cancer Treatments are Available?
The specific treatments available will vary by country. In general, though, Mexico, Germany, Spain, and other countries can offer a broader range of alternative cancer treatments than the United States.
For example, Mexican clinics tend to take a holistic approach to cancer treatment. They often provide patients with individualized nutrition and lifestyle programs that support their cancer treatment. They may also prescribe supplements to fight a patient’s particular type of cancer.
Will Going Abroad Improve Your Chances of Fighting Cancer?
We can’t give a definitive answer because every cancer patient goes through a unique journey. However, we can tell you that most patients traveling abroad with cancer choose to do so when their cancer is advanced, usually at stage 4.
Conventional medicine views stage 4 cancer as one that cannot be cured or completely removed. These patients may benefit from seeking alternative treatment methods unavailable in the U.S.
Heal Navigator Can Help You Find the Right Alternative Treatment Center
If you are considering traveling abroad for cancer treatment, start your search with Heal Navigator Advisors to learn more about available options that specialize in your condition. Our team has verified many alternative clinics by speaking with head doctors and medical teams, interviewing previous patients, and physically touring several facilities.
We can share information about available treatments and costs and connect you with multiple clinics of your choosing so you can compare their offerings before making a decision. This free service can help cancer patients and their loved ones make an informed decision about traveling for medical care.