US News & World Report has released its “Best Hospitals” rankings in the United States. And once again, several hospitals known for offering specialty cancer care for mesothelioma patients have topped the list.
To rank the best cancer hospitals, US News looked for hospitals that are experienced in treating difficult cases, and only included hospitals if at least 251 inpatients in need of high level of expertise in this specialty were treated there in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The top five ranked cancer hospitals are:
- University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
- Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
- Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Boston, MA
- Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/University of Washington Medical Center
After evaluating hospitals based on the following 11 categories – reputation with specialists, survival, success in keeping patients safe, patient volume, nurse staffing, nurse magnet recognition, NCI designated cancer center, transplant accreditation, advanced technologies, patient services and intensivist staffing – 900 hospitals across the U.S. were ranked as top cancer centers.
According to US News & World Report, this information is helpful in identifying a hospital for treatment for patients who “need demanding surgery or if age, physical infirmities or a chronic condition could compromise your treatment or procedure.”
Mesothelioma is a serious and rare cancer that occurs in individuals that have been exposed to airborne asbestos fibers. Due to its relative rarity among the general population, it is recommended that mesothelioma be treated at a facility with a team of doctors and surgeons that specialize in the treatment of mesothelioma. Specialists are aware of the latest research and they are able to develop a more informed treatment plan than would a physician who does not specialize in the disease.
MD Anderson Cancer Center
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has a mission to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world, and is continuously introducing new research and initiatives to improve the lives of cancer patients. According to the hospital’s website, “MD Anderson’s Thoracic Center cares for more patients with mesothelioma than almost any other center in the United States.” In addition, mesothelioma patients at MD Anderson are treated by a specially trained support team of experts in their fields and mesothelioma. The division is comprised of more than 30 medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, pulmonologists and pathologists who work together to personalize treatment plans.
This is the seventh straight year that the US News & World survey ranked the center as the nation’s best hospital for cancer care, according to MD Anderson. It is the tenth time in the last 12 years that MD Anderson has been honored with the top ranking. MD Anderson received a perfect score of 100.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is one of the world’s premier cancer centers, with a large, interdisciplinary team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and nurses who deal exclusively with mesothelioma and other thoracic cancers. MSKCC conducts numerous clinical trials for mesothelioma and continually make strides in the treatment of the deadly disease.
MSKCC scored “very strong” in its reputation with specialists and “much better than expected” in survival. The hospital also received the highest rankings in the advanced technologies and patient services categories. MSKCC reports this is the 24th year in a row the hospital ranked as one of the best hospitals for cancer care.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Led by Raphael Bueno, MD, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, is one of the leading authorities on treating mesothelioma and their International Mesothelioma Program. Managing over 300 mesothelioma consultations per year, the International Mesothelioma Program is the largest program of its kind in the world. The Program has a mission “to offer state-of-the-art treatment to patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.”
Brigham and Women’s Hospital also received the distinction of being placed on the Honor Roll. According to the Brigham and Women’s website, this is the 21st consecutive year the hospital has been listed on the U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals, placing ninth this year. The Honor Roll highlights just 18 hospitals, out of the nearly 5,000 hospitals that were evaluated nationwide, that scored at the top in at least six out of 16 medical specialties.