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Which hospital for second opinion

Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2008

My father was DX Dec o7 with stage IV colon cancer with two small liver mets. He had surgery to remove part of the colon in 2007 and is now dealing with the liver mets which seem to come and go over a one and half year period of being on chemo. The two liver mets are back but very small. In fact, one does not show up on the scan but the area lights up. Anyway, his onc. has kept him on chemo for the past two years. First he was on oxi/xeloda/avistan then he had an allergic reaction to the oxi so substituted campostar. Anyway, we are thinking it is time for a second opinion and time to explore options such as RFA, Cyberknife, etc. We live in Nevada and are considering Stanford, UCSF, or MD Anderson; however, we are not opposed to other centers farther away. Which hospitals are the best for a second opinion and how do you get an appointment if your doctor is not referring you?

pf78248's picture
Posts: 209
Joined: Jul 2008

My husband David was dx 4-08 with stage 3c and is now stage 4. We were told his liver met was not resectable because it spans both lobes. After almost another year of chemo, we decided to go to
M D Anderson for treatment. His first appointment was October 16th and we are more thrilled to be there. They did Portal Vein Embolization and David will have a liver resection with 70 percent chance of a cure in about four weeks. These doctors are amazing. RFA is a very distant second best option to resection.

Your doctor can refer you or you can do a self referral. Just go to their website and you will learn how to do it. If you call, it may go faster than signing up on the internet. Your Dad's insurance may pay for treatment at most of the major cancer centers and even pay for transportation and lodging. It's worth a call to check it out.

We felt like we have a great oncologist, but were lacking the total team approach. That's what you get at MDA and I am sure other major cancer centers. But MDA is rated number one for cancer.
Your Dad will not regret this one bit. Their drs. and surgeons are the best. We wish we had gone a year or more ago.

Good luck and I wish you and your family the very best.

sfmarie's picture
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009

My sister was dx 03/09 with stage IV cc. She has been seen at Stanford, they too have a great team with a great Interventional Radiologist. That is who does the SIR Spheres and Portal Vein Embolization. The GI oncologist there, Dr. Fisher is amazing.

A few weekends ago I went to a Colon Cancer Alliance Seminar at UCSF and the whole team was there. They too seemed truly amazing. The Colorectal Surgeon is one bright woman and they team collaborates on all cases.

I have heard fantastic things about MD Anderson. I think you cannot go wrong there either.


Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2008

Thank you so much for your input. It is very helpful. If anyone else would like to share their experiences receiving a second opinion from a major cancer center that would be great. The more info. that I can bring to my dad the better.

velo8162's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Oct 2009

I was treated at MD Anderson. Great place and have great resources that always find new ways to treat cancers. I am sure you would be in good hands there. My wife is an oncology nurse at Anderson and sees alot who come for second opinions and are treated.


lizdeli's picture
Posts: 570
Joined: Jul 2009

MD Anderson! I went there for a second opinion and never left. They ran their own tests, treated me with chemo and radiaiton (anal cancer) and I went back home 7 weeks later. I go back in Dec for results.

You can have a doctor try to get you a referral or call there directly. If you are interested, I would reach out to them asap because sometimes it takes a while to get in.

I wish you well.

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