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Despite the many advances in cancer treatments at major cancer centers, the answer to this question can be ‘no’. You should consider traveling far away to get chemotherapy or radiation therapy when there is a clinical trial you would like to participate in. Consider the marginal benefit and how innovative the treatment is at a center far away. In the case of having surgery, traveling far to get an experienced surgeon makes sense if there is not one close to home. But if the chemo or radiation you would be get at a hospital far away is the same chemo or radiation you would get close to home (i.e. same medication, same dose, same length… or at least very similar), then consider enjoying the comfort of home.
Family support is an important part of your cancer care, and when a recommended chemo or radiation regimen is one that you can have close to home, many oncologists will suggest having it done at a cancer center close to your family and support network. Chemo and radiation can require frequent trips to the hospital (sometimes as many as 3-5 appointments per week). In addition these treatments can sometimes be tiring. Family and friend support can be helpful and sometimes critical. This includes everything from rides to the hospital to verbal encouragement. When getting a second opinion at a major cancer center far away from home, ask the oncologist if the recommended chemo or radiation regimen is the same or similar to what you can get closer to home. Most importantly, consider the importance of your support network.