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Where to go for treatment

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2014

I am just beginning to choose a surgeon for a 'lumpectomy'.  I need to decide between going small town, local or larger city, more experience.  Any thoughts?

New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

Welcome to the boards. I Usually  go with experience or recommendation . You need to have a breast surgeon it is alway better than general. You need to feel comfortable with a surgeon of your choice before your surgery.

Good luck and keep us posted

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you.  I was thinking similarly.


Posts: 6564
Joined: Oct 2010

OF course (sadly) our insurance makes our choices for us. I would talk to people in your area or ask a TRUSTED dr for names of Breast Surgeons. I went to a general surgeon not even knowing then (6 yrs ago) there was a "Breast Surgeon" My 2nd lumpectomy I changed to "BREAST surgeon".


I wish the the best ...


Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2014

It seems you have to take matters into your own hands and that can be tough when you feel vulnerable.  Information is power I guess.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2791
Joined: Jun 2010

on the type and stage (unknown at this time I'm sure) of bc you have.  We don't know diddily when we start out in this journey, but I know my cancer was removed and treated well because I see folks who specialize in breast cancer.  The surgeon who did my lumpectomy also performed a mini breast reduction (oncoplasty) to rearrange tissue and sort of match my breast to the other one (my bc breast was larger).  My cosmetic result is pretty good, although my goal was just the get the stupid thing outa me.   I also think I would have most likely done  well with the docs in my small town that treat all cancers - and are general surgeons.  But that's because I had early stage breast cancer that was only Grade 2.  I think I was pretty routine in terms of treatment standards and probably would have had the same treatments (chemo and radiation) in either setting.  I continue to receive my care at a academic institution because I used to work there and because I have a higher level of familiarity and comfort with them.

I took a neighbor who had been dx'd with pancreatic cancer to UCSF a couple of years ago.  He was diagnosed locally and they wanted to do radiation.  We saw a pancreatic cancer specialist/guru who said (and I will always remember this) that community oncologists (and surgeons) are perfectly fine for routine cancers, but when you have something special, you need the experts.  He did not have radiation.  He had some special chemotherapy and it is 3 years later and he is still NED.  The community oncologist who now follows him is amazed.

You look young with a lot of living to do ahead of you.  As others have said, get recommendations from folks you trust (with medical knowledge, not your neighbor who "just loves" so and so) and go with it.  Most of us go through this in a Forest Gump fashion (me included) and learn as we go.  Do your homework



Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2014

Sounds like good advice.  It's very early stage breast cancer.  Supposedly.  I am going to be 46 this month and have been through a lifetime of emotional trauma so I wasn't too surprised by this.  But my mother passed away this past July from not getting early treatment for her case, which was completely different than mine is right now.  So going to the local treatment center is another emotionally undesireable idea for me, as I took her to many treatments.  I have been reading that they can shorten radiation time with some of the new techniques, and be more specific as to the area treated, but I am not sure if that applies to my situation.  I'm educating myself, but people like to hurry you through this and I don't like that.

I want it out and treated but I want to make informed choices.

1surfermom's picture
Posts: 361
Joined: Mar 2009

Where do you live? Would it be an inconvenience for you to go to a larger city? I live in Southern California and I was able to choose between serveral outstanding cancer centers. My lumpectomy was the first surgery I had ever had and I was pretty scared but I knew that I was in good hands. I chose my surgeon based on his experience and the fact that  he was also affiliated with an NCI cancer center.  As others have said do your homework; you want to make sure that you find someone who you can trust and are comfortable with.. Love Surf

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2014

I live in the mid-west, small town USA.  But there are some university affiliated facilities I've looked at.  Thanks for the advice.

Posts: 41
Joined: Nov 2013

I live in a small town in eastern Ohio and I go to my local hospital which has an excellent oncology staff and I used a general surgeon for all my surgeries.  I had a modified rad mx, a biopsy which amounted to a lumpectomy and a port .  All went very well, very personal experience.  I was taken very good care of as a lot of these people are ones I see at my supermarket and around town.  It's a personal choice.


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