Cancer Treatment Centers of America was founded in 1991 by Richard Stephenson after his mother passed away from cancer in 1988. Stephenson purchased the American International Hospital in Zion, Illinois, and expanded the oncology center, renaming it the Mary Brown Stephenson Radiation Oncology Center.
The company opened a second hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1991. After purchasing the former Parkview Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2004, the company completely remodeled the location, as well as expanded it, for its opening in 2005.
A treatment center was opened in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2008 and in 2012, a facility was opened in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2015, it opened a patient concierge and information office in Mexico City. The company also advertises in the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America, offering patients in these regions the opportunity to pursue treatment at one of its U.S. comprehensive cancer care and research centers.
In late 2018, the non-profit group Truth in Advertising stated that the majority of cancer center ads are very misleading and deceptive. CTCA was one group that was named.