Travel Options to Top Cancer Treatment Hospitals

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, you want to find the best available treatment, regardless of location. For many people, that search begins with researching the top-ranked cancer treatment hospitals. One of the most well-known sources for that information is the U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 Hospital Rankings

More than 900 hospitals were evaluated this year to rank the top 50 cancer treatment hospitals. The 2022-2023 Best Hospitals Specialty Rankings, published in July 2022, were established using multiple sources of information, including:

  • Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Standard Analytical File Database
  • The American Hospital Association
  • Various professional organizations
  • Physician surveys (physician specialists asked to name the hospital they would choose to refer to their sickest patients)

Top Ranked Cancer Treatment Hospitals in the US

Topping the list is the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In addition, four of the top ten ranked cancer centers are in the Midwest. They are:

  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranked #3
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, ranked #6
  • Northwestern Medicine-Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Evanston, Illinois, ranked #9
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, ranked #10

Ten cancer treatment centers in the Midwest made the top 50. 

Travel To and From Cancer Treatment Centers

The list is meant to be a tool to help patients find the care they need. Patients should talk with their doctors and do research. Many factors determine where to seek treatment, including the stress and expense of travel. That’s where LifeLine Pilots can make a difference. 

While there are multiple transportation alternatives — driving, commercial airlines, trains, etc.—they can be cost-prohibitive. In addition, the financial burden of healthcare may limit the resources available for travel. 

There are various reasons why cancer patients might not be able to travel to get quality treatment. For example, their condition may affect their ability to drive or use commercial transportation options. Patients may also live in rural communities with no access to commercial transportation.

For more than 40 years, LifeLine Pilots has provided free, non-emergency flights for patients needing medical care outside their immediate area to eliminate transportation barriers. The nonprofit organization offers service within ten states in the Midwest and partners with similar organizations for passengers flying outside of our region. 

Hundreds of volunteer pilots generously donate their time and 100% of flight expenses to ensure that patients can travel to receive cancer treatments. Each pilot volunteer is an FAA-certified pilot and adheres to the aviation industry’s high safety standards.

If you or a loved one needs transportation for cancer treatments, check out our website for passenger information. The first step includes completing a brief passenger application form to share essential information to plan your travel.

Many top cancer treatment centers have financial assistance programs for patients who are unable to pay for treatment and travel. Patients should contact the hospital’s financial counselor for information.

Help Us Ensure Everyone Can Access Medical Care

Serving the Midwest, LifeLine’s volunteer pilots complete hundreds of missions each year, bringing patients to and from lifesaving medical care. They donate their time, expertise, and the use of their aircraft, and accept all of the expenses necessary to ensure that the sick can acquire the treatments they need, regardless of the distance from home.

The organization was founded on the principle that everyone, regardless of income or location, should have access to quality healthcare. LifeLine Pilots receives no government funding. Instead, volunteer pilots support LifeLine Pilots by giving millions in donated flight time and planes ($1.6 million last year alone!). 

LifeLine Pilots can make these flights available to people in need through the generosity of individuals, businesses, and foundations. There are so many ways you can help. Your cash or crypto contribution, or even your time as a volunteer, can ensure that a person gets the healthcare they need.