Cancer Care at Butner

Prison Life

Jun 29

Saturday, March 17, 2012 |

Butner is known for its cancer care for federal inmates.  The BOP sends inmates with cancer from around the country to Butner.  Chances are that if you are in the system and have cancer, you will be sent to Butner, no matter your security level.  Butner’s proximity to Duke and other world-class hospitals is a good reason why this is wise on BOP’s part.  It is amazing how many guys I meet with cancer and the various places they come from.

I was talking to one of my friends who had his knee replaced and had cancer treatment at Butner about his health care experience. Overall, he had very good experiences. His knee replacement failed through no fault of BOP, but they had Duke put in another “bionic” knee. He caught his cancer very early. They started cancer treatment quickly, and he will be ok.

My friend’s perspective is that getting the care is the biggest problem.  The BOP is notorious about delaying care.  Often, they will find reasons not to look at a complaint, especially if it involves specialized care that the BOP doctors don’t understand, or feel is too expensive.  But once under care, the BOP does all they can for the guy.

Further, my friend believes that most of the guys who die here would have died anyway on the street. Given this is the only BOP cancer treatment facility, by necessity many guys who come here will die of cancer. I can see his perspective. Most of what I have been exposed to are guys who struggle to get adequate care. My perspective is a little different, but then again, different people will have different experiences.