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Medical Tourism Big Draw for Boomers

  • Published: 2010-03-04 (Revised/Updated 2010-06-27) : Author: Marla Manhart
  • Synopsis: It is estimated that almost half a million US citizens traveled to Europe or Mexico for treatment last year.

It is estimated that almost half a million US citizens traveled to Europe or Mexico for treatment last year...

Hip and knee replacements, anti-aging therapies and cancer treatments at wholesale prices are what Medical Tourism is all about. According to Marla Manhart, a medical tourism director, savvy boomers are heading to Mexico and Europe for treatment of cancer and degenerative disorders, where they can get both natural and conventional treatments at a fraction of the cost they would pay in the USA.

Mary Simmons was 59 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had no insurance, and conventional therapy was going to cost several hundred thousand dollars. "I did some research and found a clinic in Mexico that offered alternative cancer treatments with no side effects. I paid $30,000 for 2 months of treatment and am still in remission today."

Mary is not alone. It is estimated that almost half a million US citizens traveled to Europe or Mexico for treatment last year. Phil Reese went to Germany in 2002 for prostate hyperthermia. "It took 5 days - I've been cancer free for 7 years. My brother had conventional treatment, and now he wears a diaper." and offer free patient assistance programs that help patients find treatment centers that can help them the most. "We have twenty years of experience with foreign clinics; we help avoid pitfalls and make medical travel a successful and rewarding experience. We can compare prices, facilities and medical teams. As patient advocates, we know this is a big decision to make when you are ill and under pressure. There are so many websites touting 'cures' - we help separate the hype from the real help," Manhart says.

Patient success stories are the reason many people go out of the country for treatment. "My oncologist offered surgery, chemo and radiation - the same thing everyone else gets, and the success rates aren't so great," said Janet Whitmore of Chicago. "I knew the odds of a cure were poor. I opted for Mexico and a combination of natural treatments. So far my cancer is in remission. My doctor at home says I must have experienced spontaneous remission," she adds with a smile.

As boomers grow older, they are also seeking joint replacements, bypass surgery and even organ transplants out of the country. And they seem satisfied with the results.

Marla Manhart is a patient advocate and health writer. She can be reached at

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