“Best Hospitals” cancer-care score: 30.0/100
Beds: 659 (at flagship)
Sutter Cancer Centers provides care at five north-central California community hospitals, chiefly the flagship facility, Sutter Medical Center, in Sacramento. It is the recipient of an American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award. Recognizing that cancer affects body, mind and spirit, the centers offer comprehensive programs and services designed to address the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the disease. Treatment techniques and technologies include biologic therapy/immunotherapy, chemotherapy, hyperthermia (the “Sugarbaker Procedure” in which heat is used to increase cancer cells’ absorption of chemotherapy agents), laser therapy (to attack cancer of the mesothelium), medical oncology, radiation therapy, endoscopic/laparoscopic surgery, thermal ablation, intraoperative radiation therapy, and cryosurgery. Sutter’s interdisciplinary treatment teams include nationally recognized cancer specialists, superbly trained nurses, and technicians — all of whom believe that treating cancer is a highly individual process. Patient education is deemed critically important by Sutter (their policy is wherever possible to replace the mystery of cancer with thorough, medically sound information). Clinical trials are conducted through the auspices of the Sutter Institute for Medical Research, founded in 1959. The unit allows practicing physicians from the various Sutter Health system community hospitals to engage in this type of research.