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Stage III to IV and MD Anderson referral?

andyc56
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2004

It's been a long time since I visited here. My wife, diagnosed stage IIIC in fall of 2004 (10 of 14 nodes positive) is now stage IV with two small lung lesions. She is a patient at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (Tennessee) and we have been very pleased with her care. Preliminary treatment plan is to start CPT-11 and Avastin asap (she previously had Folfox-6) in 2005. Lung surgery does not appear to be the best option at this stage (but do not yet know why-another appointment with oncologist tomorrow).

We are considering a trip to Houston for a consultation at MD Anderson to get their views. Looking for any doctor recommendations from anyone who has had treatment there. I know there is an online self-referral website but would like to request a specific doctor if anyone has a particular favorite, especially someone who is open-minded regarding integrative and alternative treatments. Thanks in advance for your help!

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

I am sorry you are back. I get all my care at MDA. I am stage 4, my first mets were in my lungs. My onc is great, but VERY difficult to get to see because he is very busy - I think all the GI onc at MDA are very good.

FYI: my thoracic surgeon is amazing!! He is Dr. Vaporcian. Nicest guy and one of the best surgeons in the country. I even got a second opinion at Sloan Kettering once - who told me how much she respected Dr. Vaporcian.

Wish you all good luck. Hope you get all your questions answered. jana

andyc56
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2004

Jana, thank you. I assume you had lung surgery? I hope you are doing well. Is it the location of the lung mets that mainly determines whether surgery can be performed? My wife is young (age 48 Thursday) and otherwise in good health so we would consider surgery if it is feasible and would enhance her chances for a cure.

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kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

I receive all my care also at MDA. Stage 4 with mets to the liver and lymph nodes. I can't say enough good things about MDA. The care is great. My onc there is also very difficult to get in to see, but all the GI once are very very good. Also, they do consult with each other, so when you have one doctor, you essentially have them all.

Best of luck to you.

Kerry

apache4's picture
apache4
Posts: 272
Joined: Jul 2007

Do you live in the Houston area? or travel there for treatments? I am in East Texas and considering getting a second opinion down there, but hate the thought of having to stay away from home for long periods of time. (Stage IV, many, many mets to liver)

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi apache4,

I live in Austin and travel to MDA for doctor's appointment, scans and all other tests. With this last round of chemo I was able to take it here in Austin under the supervision of a local oncologist and under the direction of MDA. Makes it a lot easier. When I travel to Houston I usually stay at the hotel adjacent to the hospital. It is owned by MD Anderson and the rates are very low (for the Houston area). If you are going to stay long-term (4 weeks or more) there are many apartment complexes that cater to patients and provide short term furnished apts that are cheaper per day than hotels. I've used that option as well when I had 6 weeks of radiation. I was even able to bring my dog with me.

Good luck.

Kerry

pink05
Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

Hi Andy,

I don't know specifically of any doctors and MD Anderson, but the center has a great reputation, and I think going there for an opinion is a smart thing to do. Keeping you and your wife in my prayers.

-Lee-

DK2006
Posts: 126
Joined: Jan 2006

Sorry to hear that your wife is now stage 4. I'm glad to hear that you are seeking second opinions. Good luck.
Donna

Trigo
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2008

I live in Mexico and have breast cancer. I had my mastectomy done here and called MDAnderson to ask about coming in for 2nd opinion--they told me the only way that could happen is that I agree to have the rest of my treatment done there---no way!!

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Andy,
I had 2 mets removed from my right lung at MD Anderson and I have been NED since then (October '04). My surgeon was Dr. David Rice. I liked him very much. He is young and very positive. Previously I had a liver resection done as well. That was done by Dr. Stephen Curley who is in the GI clinic.
At any rate, I would highly recommend Dr. Rice. It is probably better if your wifes oncologist can refer her, rather than doing a self referal. I was taken in right away when my doc called down there. Best wishes for a great outcome,
SIncerely,
Susan H.

andyc56
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2004

To all: thank you so much for your feedback and suggestions!

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