Going to MD Anderson

I'm taking my wife to MD Anderson today for their first round of examinations and diagnosis using the CT scans and PET scans already taken. Diagnosis starts tomorrow and goes for a number of days. We are experiencing the full gamet of emotions but have great trust in this renouned organization to prescribe a treatment that will prolong and comfort her life. Our faith in the Lord is stong and we are optimistic and hopeful. We know the realities, though.

Could anyone describe their experience at MD Anderson and offer suggestions for questions and reference sites?

**** Leonard


  • BMGky
    BMGky Member Posts: 621
    No experience re EC
    Friend treated there for another cancer, terminal in nature. Through their advanced knowledge, quality of life as well as length of life were greatly improved through their care. Prayers for the best!
  • Alaska_Kim
    Alaska_Kim Member Posts: 34
    MD Anderson
    Hi, I have been following posts at this site for a while after my husband was initially diagnosed with stage T1a EC February 1 this year. Your question about MD Anderson prompted me to finally join the group. After we met with a local surgeon who recommended MIE surgery to remove the esophagus and portion of the stomach (found out he performs less than 6 a year), we decided to get a 2nd opinion at MD Anderson in Texas. That was February 22. I could write a book, but I will try to keep this concise. Because of the early diagnosis and small size of the tumors his oncologist (Dr. Ho) did not recommend any chemotherapy or radiation. A Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) (Dr. Hoffstetter) was attempted but found that one tumor had penetrated connective tissue (re-staged T1b). What started out as a week long trip ended up being 2 ½ weeks and unfortunately back to square one (final recommendation was MIE surgery, but no pre-op chemo/radiation because the tumor was so small and no evidence of lymph node involvement from scans). Surgery was April 7 at MD Anderson by a doctor (Dr. Mehran) who performs this surgery a minimum of once a week. My husband did great, flirted with pneumonia for a couple of days but was discharged after 7 days in the hospital. Unfortunately, the pathology reports came back that the one little tumor had penetrated the muscle layer (T2) and 5 of 12 lymph nodes (N2) tested positive. He was re-staged IIIa and chemotherapy was recommended, which we elected to have done at home.

    Why we went there:

    1. It is rated one of the best cancer clinics in the world

    2. They had the expertise and depth of experience that was lacking in Alaska

    3. The MD Anderson doctors are willing to work with our local doctors after the surgery, follow-ups, oncology, etc.

    4. It was a team of medical experts (surgeons, oncologists, etc.) that discussed my individual case & circumstances, coming up with my course of treatment - not one doctor deciding everything (as was the case here)

    5. We felt welcomed and everyone we met went out of their way to help us and make things easier on us.

    6. They discovered things that our Alaska doctors missed (enlarging aorta, kind of a big deal). They look for anything and everything abnormal.

    7. Don’t be surprised if they have your wife take a lot of the tests (Endoscope, CT, PET, blood work, etc) over again.

    (From my husband Mike) Bottom line - It was tough going there because of the logistics – living in Alaska – but I’m glad we did and I would do it again

    My husband’s first round of chemo treatment was May 17th and he will have 4 cycles of Epirubicin, Oxaliplatin and Capecitabine (Xeloda). Tomorrow, he has an endoscope to get his esophagus dilated. Sorry, this was a lot longer than you probably expected. I can say that reading the posts on this site helped me tremendously to get educated and develop questions for the doctors.

    Good Luck and feel free to contact us any time.