A cancer diagnosis can be even more overwhelming when your doctors and treatments are far from home.
But the Covenant Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo has changed that for many local patients.
Here's Health Plus with one survivor's story.
When Jill Junk was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last fall, she had a lot of decisions to make.
After a 9-hour surgery to remove her tumor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the Independence woman opted for treatments closer to home at Covenant's Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo.
"So I came here for 28 radiation treatments and this staff is so professional and so compassionate. They get to know you," she says.
The 50-year-old says she has never regretted her choice.
"If I had to make the decision over again, I'd do it again right here in good old Waterloo, Iowa."
Her radiation oncologist, who's been here for 15 years, says it's one of the only accredited cancer treatment centers in the region.
"We treat you on a team approach but are able to do exactly what a university setting or an academic setting can offer you but we can do it here, closer to home," says Dr. Vandana Jain.
Jain says the center is a one-stop shop for cancer patients on the road to recovery.
"Not only do you meet the medical oncologist and radiation oncologist, if you need to. You also meet with dietitians, social workers, rehabilitation, Med-Fit people."
Jill, who works as a business manager, is thrilled with how her treatment turned out.
"When the doctors started talking the same medical lingo, I thought you know what this center can do it. We made the decision to be down here and I am so glad we did."
by the way, Jill is now cancer-free!