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What cancer facility is the best?

carolinefromsunshine
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2010

My husband was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma with bone mets on 8/31/10.

We live in Baltimore and yesterday met with a lung cancer medical oncologist at Hopkins.
He is scheduled to start chemo - alimpta & carboplatin - next week. Surgery is not an option.

Need advice!!
1. Is there a hospital that is better at treating lung cancer than Hopkins?

2. Is the treatment with alimpta & carboplatin standard where ever you go?

3. How in the world do I do research or evaluate the efficacy of treatments?

4. Any Baltimore survivors?

Hanging on there,
Caroline
Baltimore

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

This looks like a good place to start ;)

jeffcoud
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2010

Hopkins is great, are you going to Dr David Ettinger by chance? One of the best actually. You couldn't be off to a better start. I'm in DC but have been up there to consult with him as well.

I was diagnosed this April with stage IV NSCLC, with bone met on hip, should, small mets on both kidneys. Did 8+ weeks of radiation daily on lung tumor and chemo weekly during that period. Am now on higher dose chemo (taxol and carboplatin) on a 3 week cycle, and things are continuing to shrink....always hoping for the best!

Good luck and god bless,

Jeff

ddevil41
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Caroline. I only know when I was diagnosed with stage 2a lung cancer in decatur alabama, I had lousy treatment. I had a lobectomy here and the incision herniated. Then I started chemo at clearview cancer institute. they are a chemo mill! happy to charge my insurance 7,000.00 twice a week but could care less how I was doing. I felt so alone that I quit going half way through my chemo. One year later I lost 20 lbs in 30 days and thought its back. So having seen cancer treatment centers of america's ads on tv and looking them up online. I decided to go there, even though I have to go to chicago. Tell you now best choice I ever made, they care, they treat the (whole ) body, mind, nutrition, and spirit. I have met a lot of good people (patients) there and have have yet to find one that doesn't feel good about their treatment. I encourage you to call them!! They will fly you there at no cost to you (and your spouse, children, parents) anyone you want to come with you they will fly there. They will also provide all meals for you and your caregivers in their restaurant free of charge,no strings attached.(their food is incredible all organic veggies, soups. just plain good food) I go on the 27th of this month to have the rest of my left lung removed. so wish me luck as I do you.
Garycrews62@gmail.com

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

ddevil,
Aren't these the places that want 20,000 up front? I've actually heard a lot of bad things about them - not necessarily about patient care, but about how money-hungry they are...

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

I can't say enough great things about the doctors (and nurses) I've had at Hopkins. I have to travel 2 hours each way to get to them, but they were the best I could drive to. I have both stage 1 breast cancer (2002) and stage 1 lung cancer (2006). At one point they thought I had ovarian cancer (2004) but that turned out normal. So I've met a number of specialists there. I wanted a hospital that was affiliated with a university so they were as up on the research as possible. It makes a difference. They may not have a sure cure yet, but the cancer field research changes monthly if not daily. The next discovery just might make a considerable difference and the guys in the small town hospitals just don't have the hours to be on top of that research like the professors do. One other thing I've learned is that everybody's cancer journey is different. I've had mainly surgery. Your husband is facing chemo. You need a team of doctors you can trust. You can google the oncologist you are going to and see how he rates in terms of current research. You can call your American Cancer Society and American Lung Society for recommendations. Now is a great time for a second opinion if you have any concerns at all. Most doctors will willingly help you get that second opinion. Some insurance companies will automatically give you a second opinion or help you set one up. So start calling. I wouldn't put off the chemo while I wait for the second opinion, but I also wouldn't hesitate to try to get an expert's opinion.

When I was looking at lung surgery, I tried the "Ask an Expert" on the internet that I believe was offered through the University of Maryland. They actually wrote me back within three days and told me that I was being offered the "gold standard" treatment. I was still anxious about losing part of my lung, but at least I knew it was the best treatment out there for what I had at the time. I also went for a second opinion way back when I was facing breast cancer surgery in my hometown and they said the M word (for mastectomy). That's how I ended up at Hopkins. Yep, they also said the M word, but they could do some things surgically that just were not available in my hometown. I ended up with less surgery, a faster recovery, and lots better arm mobility. So I switched hospitals and I've never looked back. My hometown doctor said it was a good decision on my part and wished me the best. HIs office was great at helping me with the paperwork.

So don't be afraid to check things out. Hopkins has treated me well, but it never hurts to be sure.

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