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My dad just diagnosed and coming to NY - who to use?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2010

I may be jumping the gun here but...my dad (87) was just diagnosed with EC as well as finding spots on his liver, pelvic bone and small intestine. They are doing an MRI, biopsy of the liver and a cat scan - next week - all in Florida where he lives.

We(both his kids and our families) are in NYC and he does not want to be treated in FL because...my mom died of lung cancer 2 years ago and in Florida Drs would not consider surgery and gave her 1 year - she was treated at Sloan Kettering and lasted 3.5 years of which 3 were really good times together.

My dad is afraid to go back to Sloan Kettering (memories)...has anyone heard of Dr. Altorki or Dr. Bryan Schneider at NY Presb. Cornell?

Any other great doctors in NYC that you have experience with?

unclaw2002's picture
Posts: 664
Joined: Jan 2010

I am a little confused by your post --- if your mother had great care at Sloan why would your father be hesitant to go there? It is rated as one of the top two cancer centers in the US for the treatment of Esophageal Cancer, with other involved areas. And it would seem that would be the best place to go. When you are dealing with a nasty cancer like EC it is even more critical to seek treatment with the best, those who deal with the cancer on a daily basis and where new approaches and breakthroughs are being developed and offered to patients. As someone who is 87 I do think that a different approach may be in order than for someone who is even 60 - but even then I think that you always want the best when fighting the monster of EC.

My father got a second opinion at Sloan and met with an oncologist named Dr. Yelena Y. Janjigian. She is young, but had a great bedside manner and was focused on quality of life issues and maximizing the good days. My dad is 78 with complications of diabites and high blood pressure (controlled by medicine). She really focused on what he wanted to do and what his wishes were and how much more difficult some of the treatments are on older patients and a discussion of the risks and benefits of the different approaches. It might be worth an appointment with her it made a big difference to my dad. Sloan is at the forefront of treatments, clinical trials etc. Also, Sloan has some satellite centers outside of manhatten which may be closer to where you live and might not dredge up those memories. Sloan is at the forefront of treatments, clinical trials etc.

Some links:
Sloan main website - http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/44.cfm
New Treatment center - http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/99421.cfm
Sloan EC center - http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/331.cfm
Dr. Yelena Y. Janjigian - http://www.mskcc.org/prg/prg/bios/1130.cfm

Good luck,

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi and welcome to you and your dad. I agree, Sloan is one of the best hospitals and cancer centers in NYC. I can understand how your dad feels about the memories of your mom, but she received the best care there, and survived 3.5 years. He should want to go there and receive the best care for himself. Hope he reconsiders his decision. I was a caregiver for my dad. He passed away in March from ec with mets to the liver. Keep in touch.

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Posts: 53
Joined: Aug 2009

My wife was saved bu a Doctor Raj Flores He was at Sloan-Kettering but has moved to MT Saini hospital Brilliant surgon If it would have not been for him I am sure I would have lost her E mail me for more info

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2006

Try Dr, Illson at MSKCC


Posts: 2
Joined: May 2010

My mother used this doctor. I always will have to live with this decision of my family. My mother was diagnosed, treated and gone to heaven five months later. The second opinion felt they could get it. The treatment from sloan was aggressive. I don't feel him or the staff listened to my concerns of the treatment being too much for her. She went from walking to in a wheelchair within four weeks. She was not a frail women before treatment. She didn't eat NOTHING and I mean NOTHING! My concerns werent listened to at all! Her lungs gave out? Why? Still don't know. Even after she was hospitilized she still was given nothing but Iv fluid for two weeks. While they evaluated her. Too late she was moved to intensive and given life support. Allergic reacation to chemo? They don't know. Overshot from radiaion? However when I let them know two weeks prior that something wasn't right why were they still hitting her with radiation and chemo?

The staff at sloan was unbelievable I will always thank them for the care they gave her. Just not happy with the doctors decision to continue to treat her and not realize what was going on. Oh yeah they did say they got the cancer!

Altra's picture
Posts: 27
Joined: Apr 2011

My dad made the decision between Sloan and Beth Israel in NYC- and ended up going with Beth Israel, which I DO NOT suggest to anyone. He had a horrible month-long stay there, which my mom and I believe could have been prevented if the team of doctors had had a clue.... I've heard great things about Sloan though.

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