• Who to trust?

    Asked by tmclean67 on Friday, April 26, 2013

    Who to trust?

    I had colon cancer, chemo, recurrence in liver, liver resection and now there is no detectable cancer. My oncologist believes I should have 6 more months of chemo, the surgical oncologist at IU in Indianapolis initially said no chemo then with no new knowledge changed her mind to agreeing with chemo. Then I went to MD Anderson for another opinion and he said chemo doesn't work on microscopic disease and so chemo won't prevent it from coming back. I know chemo is given just in case there's microscopic disease left after surgery all the time. My oncologist is aggressive which I want but IU and MD Anderson are top rated for cancer care and their opinions carry a lot of weight. I can't decide and trying to look stuff up on my own is difficult because its stage 4, it's not as clear cut. Any suggestions?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Clyde's Avatar

      Do you know why the second doc changed her opinion (you say she did it with no new knowledge)? Did she change because you told her of the first docs opinion or did she she change without any outside influence?

      MD is indeed considered one of the best with top rated docs so I would give it a lot of weight, but perhaps a further check to see if this was just one Doctor's opinion or the direction of the hospital in general. It sounds like a big change in treatment direction if it is as I was also told that chemo was done to hit the microscopic cancer that might or might not be there.

      Any of the medical people here know more?

      over 4 years ago
    • BeckyTice's Avatar

      I have the same issue. I have a gene that was passed down from my mom.... she left me out of the will.. go figure...lol.

      Anyway.... I know the odds are that I will probably deal with cancer again... but at this point 5FU would not do me any good.... one doc says 6 months chemo and the other says the benefits don't outweigh the side affects. One has been in business for over 20 years... the other hasn't.

      I trust them both but the decision has come down to.... quality of life....

      over 4 years ago
    • PaulaT's Avatar

      I also have stage IV colon cancer and had liver resection followed by 12 chemo treatments after which I was cancer free for one year. Had a recurrence in June 2012 - small mass in my abdomen - had 6 rounds of chemo, radiation and then surgery in February 2013 with intraoperative radiation. I am once again cancer free! This time the recommendation is not to have more chemo but to go back into the monitoring role. On one hand I feel like doing a few more rounds of chemo would be good at this point but none of my doctors feel that way so I'm accepting their expertise. It's hard when you have conflicting opinions of what you should do. I've always felt that chemo attacked the smallest cells and had a "clean-up" function. So I felt very comfortable having chemo after my liver surgery. Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • tmclean67's Avatar

      Thank you all for your responses, I am thinking also of quality of life and if the benefits outweigh the side effects. I did see my oncologist a couple of days before my postoperative appt and expressed frustration at feeling like I have to make this choice without statistics or even consistency of opinions and she reassured me I wouldn't be left hanging like that, so I do think they talked. That's part of my lack of trust. Has anyone else been told that chemo is not effective on microscopic disease? The IU doctor also said metasis doesn't metasisize which MD Anderson doctor said is not true. I feel like they can't even get their facts straight, how can I trust their opinions.

      over 4 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Having the Drs talk to oneanother is a good thing in that it sometimes can result in them comming up with ideas that they would not have otherwise. About a year ago I got a 2nd opinion and now my Oncologist keeps that Dr up to date on my treatment and they exchange correspondence on my case. I suspect that in your case the Drs from IU and MD Anderson are not communicating clearly with you or each other. My understanding is that chemo can and does kill microscopic desease. I too have colon cancer and would be upset to learn that was not the case as I have had alot of pre-emptive chemo and would hate to find out that the suffering was for nothing. If I was you I would contact both Drs and let them know that what you understood from each of them seems to disagree with respect to pre-emptive chemo and request that confer and see if they can give you an explanation of what they said that agrees and if they can't have them cite the research that each uses to support thier position. That way you can have more positive information to make a decision. I would also appriciate it if you could share any data you might get as it could effect decisions I have to make in the future. Thanks and Good Luck

      over 4 years ago

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