• Have you second guessed your decision to not travel a good distance to a much better known cancer facility?

    Asked by BugsBunny on Thursday, February 21, 2019

    Have you second guessed your decision to not travel a good distance to a much better known cancer facility?

    I seem to be having doubts, but then there have been hundreds, maybe even thousands of people that have been through my current facility and I'm sure most are doing fine. Maybe it's a version of "buyer's remorse"? I seem to always wonder if I could have done better.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      I would say that it depends on the ease with which your particular form of cancer is treated and/or placed in remission. Even then, the highest levels of expertise and technology combined with the latest research dta can make all the difference in the world.

      My rare lymphoma was treated with the freshest research data available, as there (still) is no defined treatment for it. I initially objected to the two-hour round trip, but have now made that journey hundreds of times.

      Had I stayed local, I would simply have died.

      27 days ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      If you are still in treatment, then maybe it's time for you to get a second opinion.

      You can still have your treatments done locally (if it's chemo) but go periodically to the new facility for scans and expanded treatment options.

      A good oncologist, surgeon or radiologist will never be offended by your request to forward your records for a second opinion.

      Removing the doubt out of your mind is important part of cancer treatment. Side effects are easier to endure when you have confidence in the treatment. And if "things" don't turn out as well as you hoped, you won't have regrets because you'll know that you got that second opinion.

      Best wishes in wise decision making.

      27 days ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I understand your thinking. I am from a small town with two nearby hospitals in the nearest towns in different directions. The closest wouldn't pass as a high quality veterinary office. The second is not bad for a local hospital. But still, I wouldn't trust them to my diagnosis, and setting up my treatments. I went to Vanderbilt which is over 2 hours away for my oncologist. The surgery was there, the diagnosis, the planning of the treatment, and then I had to make a decision. The plan was only to have radiation, no chemo, and the plan as far as how many treatments and what strength was determined by Vandy. I asked my oncologist there if the radiation technologist could XXX up his plan somehow. He told me that it was pretty much "idiot proof" and I should be safe. So, I had my radiation treatments done local and it all worked out. If I was diagnosed again tomorrow, I would be traveling to Vandy again. If I could be radiated again, 3rd time, I would let them do it here. I feel your uneasiness.

      27 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      BugsBunny, it's never too late to get a second opinion. I would definitely get one from a NIH-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center just to be sure I had done as much as possible. If your cancer comes back, you don't want to have regrets.

      Other things to weigh heavily would be the Stage of your cancer, the rarity of that type of cancer, and your prognosis with your current treatment, none of which you have shared with us.

      The idea is to treat cancer as aggressively as possible (to kill all the cancer cells), so it won't recur. You could start by asking your doctor about your prognosis if you haven't.

      27 days ago
    • myb's Avatar
      myb

      My husband and I visited a local oncologist and an oncologist at a cancer center of excellence 2 hours away. My husband said the decision shouldn't be because the one is close as he was willing to drive me. We decided on the 2 hour trek and glad we did when I had a reaction at 11th chemo and was instantly attended to by physician's assistant and several nurses. I was never scared as they took care of me.

      26 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I started out at what I guess is called a community clinic setting (though it is a very large organization). When chemo quit working, I moved to a NCI-designated cancer center. I would be hard-pressed to go anywhere else. But, I had much better success at the place where I go now so that may color my point of view.

      If you don't have a NCI-designated center near you, my next suggestion would be to get a second opinion from them. That way, you can rest easy that the route you are going was recommended by both the clinic where you go and by doctors at the hospitals deemed "the best" cancer facilities. (IMHO, labels are only as good as the doctors you get, no matter where you go. I LOVE my facility and recommend it often, but I have a friend who went there who got a terrible doctor and died within a few months ... and I don't think he had to or would have if he'd had a better MD.)

      Good luck.

      26 days ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I wanted local doctors and facilities. And in my area, I had them. I was pleased with the treatment and six years later, I am still here.

      26 days ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      I too traveled over two hours away to receive my surgery and frontline chemo. Doing my research I needed a gynecologist onchologist to treat my ovarian cancer, there were none close by. I found the perfect fit two hours away, a teaching hospital, one of the best cancer centers in the state, with several specialists. When I was first diagnosed, my husband considered our traveling to Texas, to MD Anderson Cancer Center, but in the end we were fortunate to find a great hospital and specialist in our own back yard ( sort of ) and I was able to stay close to family. So no regrets .

      26 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      BugsBunny, the state you live in is not in your profile, but there are numerous NIH National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers doing research funded by the National Cancer Institute (U.S. Government, funded by taxpayers). NIH has chosen hospitals, medical centers, and doctors that meet strict requirements of the NCI to be called Comprehensive Cancer Centers and do government-funded cancer research. Some of the treatments are especially sought by late-stage cancer patients because they aren't available anywhere else.

      When you get a second opinion, it doesn't mean you have to be treated there. You can confirm at the NIH NCI-designated CCC that you are receiving the best treatment plan available from your local doctor, or you can discuss changing your current plan locally.

      I have an NIH NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center where I live, so I'm treated there. Wishing you the Best.

      24 days ago

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