• How did you decide where to have your cancer treatment?

    Asked by BuckeyeShelby on Friday, December 28, 2012

    How did you decide where to have your cancer treatment?

    25 Answers from the Community

    25 answers
    • cris' Avatar

      My mom was diagnosed with Lung Cancer 2005 & passed away 6/2/2010, so I went with her to alot of her appointments, so I really got to know her doctors & now they are my doctors. Really weird how it works out.

      almost 4 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      I have a local oncologist, plus a gynecological oncologist who specializes in carcinosarcoma, but the specialist is 3 hours from home. I started treatments locally, but after an allergic reaction to Taxol, I had to travel to see the specialist for "desensitization." After that, I just felt more secure getting treatment in the bigger treatment center. It also gives me the opportunity to speak with the specialist each time I have treatment.

      almost 4 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      My PCP handled that for me. Texas Oncology is a great place to receive treatment. Especially if you're too far away from MD Anderson.

      almost 4 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      First, I knew where not to have treatment. The independent surgeon who performed my lymph node biopsy gave me the advice that saved my life: "If a doctor ever uses the word 'wait', run for your life." The first oncologist I consulted with did not think it was cancer and wanted to "wait." Even the pathology lab did not see cancer in either the node or my bone marrow. I ran. DW made an appointment at Fred Hutchinson, since we were an hour away. There, I was correctly diagnosed. Even better, I was treated for a rare and aggressive lymphoma for which there is no standard treatment. Better yet, I was offered a clinical trial when it immediately relapsed and there was nothing else to use. I very strongly suggest second opinions on both diagnosis and treatment, as that second opinion saved my life when I had about 3 months left to live. If you can, seek out a large academic research facility with a high success rate in treating that particular cancer that you have. I say this because I would not have survived 2008 otherwise.

      almost 4 years ago
    • janeti's Avatar

      Was steared to Md Anderson & clinical trial. Hospital lost my biopsy sample from the mastectomy and preferred Oncologist would not treat. Was recommended to Texas Oncology near home in Sugarland. Completed chemo, radiation with Dr. Zanger. Remission for 10 years.

      almost 4 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      I was referred to an oncologist at my hospital who has ties to the Medical College of WI. He now heads the department at the local hospital I go to, I liked him and trusted him immediately, as did my husband. Now that I have been diagnosed with sarcoma, a peripheral nerve sheath tumor, he has referred me to a specialist at the Medical College of WI. I will still have treatment at my hospital, and they will be communicating between themselves and with me regarding my treatment. I'm still waiting to find out what my next treatment will be. You have to trust your doctor, do some research regarding successes in treatment and ask lots of questions. It is important that you are confident and comfortable with your docs and with the staff who are helping to care for you.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      We were referred to Dr. Ingber by our PCP, and it was the best choice EVER for my husband (Peroll). The relationship that has developed over the past 8.5 years is wonderful. Phil's cancer is out of the box and there is no case study/research on what to do with him at this point, in fact at a recent tumor board meeting one of the physicians was startled to learn Phil was still living. As it is now, Dr. Ingber sees Phil as the last patient of the day so they can sit and talk as long as they want mapping out what to try next with him--I will admit a lot of it is over my head discussion, but Dr. Ingber is very good at explaining to me too. The relationship is so close that when I was in the hospital Dr. Ingber stopped to check in with me to how I was doing while making his rounds. We couldn't have asked for a doctor with better knowledge or bedside manner than Dr.Dr., which is how Phil refers to him.

      almost 4 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      I started where I am because I was referred to my oncologist by my PCP. After one relapse, I did go for a second opinion, but stayed with my original oncology group because they have been just the kind of care that I need. I know all the lab techs and the nurses at the hospital too, and I'd hate to leave them all. My boat needs less rocking. :)

      almost 4 years ago
    • Debbie's Avatar

      I was so lost during the whole process but very fortunate. My OB/GYN referred me to the most wonderful breast surgeon. After the biopsy results, she referred me to my oncologist. After starting chemo, I found out he is the head of the oncology department for a large group of hospitals in our area.

      almost 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I didn't decide where to have cancer treatments, I went where my oncologists and surgeons practiced. My PCP referred me to my medical oncologist and my medical oncologist lined up the rest of the team (surgeon, plastic surgeon, radiation oncologist, physical therapist, etc.). My medical oncologist and radiation oncologist both work for Texas Oncology.

      almost 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Like Cris, I chose the oncology practice that treated my mother, who had multiple myeloma, well in years past.

      almost 4 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      I called everyone! My GI actually called the colorectal surgeon while I was still coming out of the anesthesia and forwarded my records to him. I was completely numb and didn't know what to do, so I followed his recommendation and met with this surgeon. But before I committed to anything, I called everyone from my internist to my ob/gyn, to family friends who were in the field. I found out that this surgeon had an excellent reputation and very, very good success rate (all-around, from lowest infection rate and least complications following surgery - my neighbor is a nurse at that hospital).

      When it was time to decide where to go for chemo, I again spoke to many, many professionals and then met with several oncologists. I am fortunate that I live near some outstanding university hospitals with top oncologists. I met with the top doc who specialized in my type of cancer, but as much as I liked him and had confidence in him and the university hospital, I could not go there because it was directly across the street from the children's hospital where my brother spent most of his childhood (and he has since passed away, so I had too much emotional baggage). But he recommended the local satellite office (affiliated with the hospital) closer to home and assured me he would follow my case and would be available to me should there be any complications.

      I was conflicted at first, but it turned out to be the perfect place for me. I love my oncologist and because it is a smaller office, I got to know the nurses and others who worked there. I was not in a big infusion room with different nurses each treatment. It was the best option for me. I needed to be just as concerned about my stress-level and my emotional health. I couldn't see driving into town, dealing with the traffic, finding parking, walking through a major university hospital. That would have been very, very stressful. There were also many times when I had to go there for a Neulasta shot. This office was close and conveniently located to work so I could stop by during my lunch or after work on my way home.

      Many people have told me that they have their oncologist at the university hospital yet go to an infusion center that is closer to home.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      I was referred to my oncology gyn after the results of a biopsy. I felt very comfortable with him and continue follow up visits since surgery last December. My chemo and radiation treatments were done locally and I have to admit that I have never felt secure with the medical oncologist.
      If I had it to do over again, I would have done the traveling. I was recently diagnosed with colon cancer this fall - had 12" of my large colon removed along with the tumor - and am now following up with him also.
      I am also seeing a new medical oncologist.
      Sooooo many doctors. Sometimes you don't know which one to contact???
      Anyone else feel this way?

      almost 4 years ago
    • Loafer's Avatar

      I was referred by my primary care physician. Had my biopsy at a hospital which I wanted to use since it was convenient. She pulled me aside and emphasized I had cancer and needed the best treatment center and gave me two hospital choices. I ended up with a great surgeon and onc team - even though its a drive!

      almost 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I felt really lucky that my friend from elementary school is a plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction. He referred me to my breast surgeon and oncologist. I ended up using a different onc but only because it was closer to home, not because I was not happy with the onc he suggested. He was my guiding light through this whole journey.

      almost 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I live a mile from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and all my doctors are affiliated with and practice at the uptown campus. When I was diagnosed with cancer it was a no brainier to stick with the hospital. They are the number 2 cancer hospital in New York and 7th in the nation, they have 23+ years of my medical history, and being so close to home - priceless.

      almost 4 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      Having a rare cancer meant I had to search for someone who had experience with this cancer. My PCP found me a referral to Memorial Sloan Kettering, in NYC - 170 miles away. A family member found me a referral to a brilliant oncologist, but one who didn't have experience with Appendix Cancer, and would have treated it like Colon cancer.

      I went to MSK for my surgeries and some of my treatments; some of my treatments I could receive at home. I have alternating follow-ups now, with my home onc seeing me and doing bloods alternating with my visits to MSK for my scans and follow-ups there. The members of my team, from their different institutions work incredibly well together.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar

      I advise going to the best cancer hospital you can get to, even if you think you have a "routine, run-of-the-mill," easy-to-treat cancer diagnosis. The best cancer centers treat only cancer and related health problems. That is all they do, and they generally have better expertise and better results. If a great cancer center isn't available within a reasonable distance, then go to one for a second opinion and then have their advice incorporated into a more local treatment center or hospital. In my opinion, going to the best is really worthwhile. Also, if you have Medicare and/or private insurance, you'll probably find that there isn't any difference in the cost of treatment between the best or the closest, local treatment. So opt for the best you can get--it just might be the difference in survival.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      I was stuck with Kaiser, so no choice. IF I had a choice I would have gone for a consultation to MD Anderson, and then gotten the chemo locally (chemo is the same everywhere, discussion of regimens and such is where leading experts can help). In my case, had I consulted an expert I would have been spared one type of chemo, which put me into menopause (and my treatment would have been easier to tolerate). It's worth spending the money and time. Of course, at the time I was just after surgery, and didnt have it together enough to fight harder. It's worth fighting harder.

      The NCI revognizes 50 plus leading cancer centers, for clinical excellence/research. http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/cancer_centers/cancer-centers-names4.html

      The leading cancer research groups are ECOG (eastern oncology cooperative group) and its HQs are in Boston, so my bet is they're closely associated with Dana Farber (although they list multiple NCI sites across the country). Other groups, SWOG, here's a list

      If I had to do it over again, not only would I choose a leading cancer center for a consult, but I'd also try to see a key opinion leader in my cancer. I believe the days of the general oncologist should be over. Each cancer is so unique that I wonder at the ability of a generalist oncologist in truly giving the best regimen for each cancer they see. There is enough breast and colorectal cancer that oncologists should specialize in each. Smaller (population wise) cancers should also have specialists in each. I think that's the only way cancer patients can access the best care, having an oncologist that is truly on top of all the literature and studies that go with each particular cancer. Now I'll get off my soap box :)

      Sloan Kettering

      almost 4 years ago
    • myb's Avatar

      I asked anyone I knew who had any knowledge of cancer treatment centers. I had 2 appointments with surgeons both in Philadelphia but after meeting the 1st one at Upenn, I got the warm fuzzy from the doctor so scheduled surgery with her and canceled 2nd appointment. Then when I had to do chemo, I met locally with an oncologist besides one at Upenn. After meeting with both of them, Upenn was hands down the winner once again for giving me the warm fuzzy as this doctor is my doc for next 5 years.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      My back surgeon spotted the 'fluid"... He alerted my regular Doctor. She ordered MRI and CT Scan with Contrast. All of the above said Ovarian Cancer. My regular doctor referred me to her gynecologic Surgeon. He rececomened a new type of specialist that was just starting to practice back in January of 2006. A gynecologic Oncologist Surgeon. This young man.. literally (With God's help) saved my life. I never stopped treatment... never took a break and after almost two years of chemo... I'm cancer free!!! Have been since May of 06.. but we continued the chemo to be proactive in killing any left over cells.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      I was referred to my treatment center by my gyno oncologist. My gyno oncologist is also the one who performed my hysterectomy.

      almost 4 years ago
    • carolchristao's Avatar

      I picked the best clinic in town. We know sometimes it doesn't mean much, but I am so happy with the decision. The doctors are always available to you and the chemo sessions are made in private rooms.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Laureen's Avatar

      A few days after my D&C, I got that "the dr wants you to come in tomorrow". I had plans, so I said, "how about the next day?" "No. He wants to see you tomorrow." Gee. I wonder what he wanted to tell me......I asked; she wouldn't answer. I agree to go to see the dr. Hubby & I go to the appt & get the "good" news.......Stage IV Endometrial Cancer. The dr is still babbling about all the stuff they babble....I have no idea what he's saying; I'm in shock. Then my mind starts registering that he's reciting a list of clinics & such. Still in shock, I ask, "If your wife had this, where would you take her?" He told me; I said okay & he made the appt. Having been to his office over the years, I have seen pix of his wife & kids at various ages. I figured if he's still with his wife, he'd pick a good dr.

      almost 4 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      After I got my dx for breast cancer my PCP referred me to a surgical oncologist--considered one of the best here in Memphis. I choose my medical oncologist since I work in one of the major hospitals here and had worked for him I already knew how good he and the West Clinic were! My plastic surgeon I picked because his name kept coming up from other BC survivors! My plastic surgery is scheduled for February 15th. God has been my lead and He has been right about all my choices. It does help to work with nurses in a hospital setting because they do know who is considered the best! I have been very blessed on my journey!

      almost 4 years ago

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