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USPC - MD Anderson - Houston, TX

bonniep's picture
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2010

I live in Houston, TX and have had great success with my GYN/ONC for what I call phase I of USPC. From all of you, I learned USPS is not really curable, but more of a chronic illness. My doctor so informed me of the same, a couple of weeks ago. I wss diagnosed with stage IIIC USPC in April, 2010, had the total hysterectomy, 6 rounds Chemo & 30 radiation treatments. In Jan. 2011, was NED & had a full body scan, Paps, labs, etc. in July & Pelvic CT scan in Nov & still NED. In Dec. my neck was swollen, ear ache, headache, pain in arm, stress in my life, lots of tension in neck. GYN/ONC sent me for CT scan - mass in neck, spots on upper lobes of right & left lungs & 1 in brain. Referred to ENT & had needle biopsy (inconclusive) and out patient surgery last Friday (possible cancer per ENT), but waiting on results. I am impressed with both doctors, but am concerned with the 'disconnect' of their communications with each other. Example: ENT didn't even have the CT scan results when I had my first visit which was scheduled a week before. My heart sank when he asked what I was in to see him for? Well, I waited while his office got the results faxed to him and he moved forward with the examination with a whole different approach. My GYN/ONC was not aware of the scheduled needle biopsy & I don't have a clue whether he's aware I had surgery last week. He's supposed to be waiting on results so he knows how to move forward with the spots on the lungs & brain. Both doctors have lots of patients and I know I'm not the only patient on their minds, but it just seems like this stuff is dragging on while I "probably" have cancer growing in my body that I don't know how fast it grows. I guess I'm concerned about the 'disconnect'(two separate medical specialties and great doctors, but lack of communication)

Several of you reference MD Anderson in Houston. I'm from Houston but my doctors are part of the Memorial Hermann Hospital group. My GYN/ONC assures me that as long as his patients respond to treatments, they are doing exactly what MD Anderson would be doing & I will be referred to them if there comes a time when I quit responding to treatment. The doctors I've seen are so good, but I wonder if they are so focused on their own medical specialty, they fail to recognize the whole picture. Another thought in the back of my mind is last March, I had what felt like a lump in my throat - nothing visible and more annoying than a problem. I also had a slight cough & cold. I called my GYN/ONC because back then I was a paranoid cancer person. He said USPC doesn't normally progress that way (based on his experience & knowledge) & to see my family dr. I did see him & I did have walking pheumonia. Well that lump in my throat is still there & according to the most recent CT scan the mass in my neck is pressing against that area which could give that sensation. So my question - was the mass there all along & over looked? Is this something that MD Anderson doctors would have handled differently back in March.

What does MD Anderson do differently than the millions of other Oncologists. My doctor is associated with doctors at MD Anderson and my experience with Memorial Hermann Group has been great and for convenience and cost purposes I love going to the all the medical facilities that are practically in my back yard. But I do want to go where I get the best, most up to date care for USPC and whatever else is currently attacking my body.

For those of you who have used MD Anderson, please share your experiences, Doctors Names, Insurance issues, etc. Also, for the record, I was the one who posted several times in 2010 in an effort to get a diagnostic code other than 182.0 (Uterine Cancer) so my insurance would pay for my PET scan. I never got one & after months of fighting that battle I just paid for it out of my own pocket. I read over and over again from many of my fellow USPC friends what talk about their PET scans and I know all of you aren't paying them out of your pocket. PLEASE, if anyone have AETNA or United Healthcare, I'd appreciate some diagnosis code information that is accepted by the insurance companies so I can get one that is paid for. I can't afford to pay for another one out of my pocket.
Based on the outcome of my biopsy, I may be making some changes. Thank you all so much!

norma2's picture
Posts: 486
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi! You can read in my bio the patriculars of my diagnosis and treatment. I have had a most favorable experience there. It just made sense to go there first to give myself the best possible chance of survival. The very fact that your doctors said you can go there when they have exhausted their options says volumes. Dr. Charles Levenbach is my doctor there. Dr Lu is also a good one as she has done lots of research on UPSC.

I think their success is because they are a teaching hospital, tests are done quickly and the results are available immediately to the doctors, and they have specialists in so many cancers.
I am sending you a PM. Norma

lkchapman's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: Jan 2011

I work for and am also treated at MD Anderson and the biggest difference is their electronic medical record. Clinic Station allows all the physicians at MDA to see at a glance everything that is going on with you. It allows your oncologist to immediately view any other consults you have had and what your other physicians are doing for you. Everyone involved in your treatment has instant access to all your test/scan results. They treat the whole patient. You just can't beat it for convenience. The only downside is that it is a huge institution and sometimes the waiting room times are a little long. I have really enjoyed my experience there.

Good luck with your treatment.

Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

I referred myself to MD Anderson after my own Ob/Gyn delayed my treatment 9 months (I later found out) by not recognizing a 17mm endometrial stripe thickening plus other symptoms.
MDA is in my city, so it just made sense. I have been very pleased. I too really like that the on-line records for each patient and it is wonderful. It allows direct email,all your records etc.

I'm sure other facilities have service like this. I've been very happy & they saved my life with establishing my disease USPC soon after I arrived. I have 1A Stage 3 & will soon be 3 years NED. I know that everyday is day for that to leave. So, I try to live everyday as best as I can.
If you have trust and have a strong relationship with your healthcard team, that place is the right place for you. I found it in where and I am.
Best of hope to all of us.

Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

It posted twice. So, I deleted body of this one.

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