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Treatment centers

mdfrfire
Posts: 11
Joined: Dec 2013

I have recently been diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. I am looking at several treatment centers. I am looking at Moffitt and UM Sylvester. Has anyone had any experiences with either place? 

Anonymous user (not verified)

My advice is to 1st ask your PCP (if you have a trusting relationship) for a referral to a private practice experienced oncologist. Be direct. Ask who he or she would go to if it was his family.  Also ask for opinions from others you may know about who the best doctors are. Many group and corporate practice oncologists work under guidlines and rules set forth by the medical board of directors.  Some of them do not have the autonomy to vary from certain regimins and lengths/types of treatment.

I just learned this a few days ago when I went for a second opinion from a private practice onc.  She told me the corporate oncology group I had been with for 4 1/2 yrs limited patients to 3 different types of chemotherapy.  I started with FOLFIRI for 3 1/2 yrs, then FOLFOX, then Erbitux.  After a good response to Erbitux the 1st 3 mo followed by a negative response the 2nd 3mos of Erbitux, they very kindly showed me the door saying they had no other options for me.  All the while I knew there were other options, but he said those drugs don't work.

I knew that some who had a good response to Erbitux could follow with Vectibix and have a very good response.  My new onc is going to start me on Vectibix next week as soon as my insurance clears. She has had great results from it.  She said that's the reason she has a private practice.  She treats patients not numbers.

Thank you, corporate decision making about my life.  Sounds like Obama Care.

Best wishes for a good doc,  Dan 

Anonymous user (not verified)

I don't want to imply that you won't get excellent treatment from a group or corporate treatment center, just that you should be asking some questions along the way to find out if there are limitations to treatments that are set by medical management rather than according to the patient's needs.

Another example I experienced with the group I was in was when I asked my onc on several occasions if he could up the dose or frequency because he hadn't made me sick yet. His reply was that the board of directors would have a fit if he did that.  My new private practice onc says that if I was showing improvement (which I did on Folfiri and Erbitux) she would have gradually increased either the dose or frequency as long as I was able to tolerate it. I would much rather be sick for 6 mos or a year and be NED than to be where I am now with new onset peritoneal carcinomatosis met from the liver.

I hope you find a good onc who doesn't play by the rules.   Dan

mdfrfire
Posts: 11
Joined: Dec 2013

Thank you Dan. I will be sure to ask those questions. your advise was very helpful. 

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