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Where to go for surgery


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Question: I live in a small town area and not many Dr's perform cancer surgery.

I am seriously looking at the Fox Chase Cancer center in Phila and the Sloan Kittering cancer clinic in NY if I indeed am a candidate for surgery. I am only about 120 miles from each. I have had many people say go to the big city, they have the best Dr's and latest technology for treatment. I have heard Fox Chase is one of the best in the country. What do you all think about this topic?? The pulmologist has already recommended a Thoracic surgeon here in my area but when I've asked around no one has ever heard of him and has no opinions on him!! Of course I have Blood work, EKG, and Chest XRAY scheduled for 3/3, a Bronchoscopy/biopsy scheduled for 3/7, the Pulmonary function test and bone scan on 3/14 and an MRI on 3/18 before I will even know if I am a candidate for surgery and what stage of LC I have.

Any comments or help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks you all again,

Bill in PA



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No question about it...go to either UPenn or Fox Chase. They are both top notch...definitely do not go to any community hospitals when you have these two at your doorstep. They are worth the drive.

Make sure to visit this site at least once a day so that you learn everything about lc, treatment, side effects from treatment and for the best emotional support you will ever receive! Hospitals can't possibly provide what this site offers!!!!!There is a wealth of info here.

Prayers and fingers crossed for you.


Hospital of Upenn alum 4 1/2 years ago

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HI; I see u are having lot of scans etc., already...but u didnt list a PET scan....this is a full body scan to spot any cancer anywhere else in the body....I didnt get one till after my surgery, and I wished I had...if we had found more bad trouble spots, would maybe have had to re-evaluate whether surgery should be undergone. Luckily, we didnt find any...but I sure would have liked to have known how involved my cancer was before surgery. Just good to know extent of problem before attacking one spot, get the big picture , so to speak.. K...good luck...Rich B.

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Wishing you the best. To add my two cents, go to the best and one of the big centers. For my mom we travelled an hour to LA to go to the best in California, well worth it. Even doctors affiliated with the hospital where my mom goes for oncology say they send patients, especially patients where surgery might be risky, to the Cedars guy my mom went to. I strongly recommend a big center for the surgery. Just my rambling thoughts : )

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Hi Bill - Sorry to hear about your problem but you have the exact attitude you need to beat up on this thing. You are asking questions early and you came to the right place. Your case is identical to how I started out down to being recommended to a Thoracic Surgeon that no one had heard of. Luckily for me, my Primary Care Physician gave me the same advice many on this site has given to you. That is "get outta Dodge". I'm from upstate NY, probably not too far from you. I was trying to decide between Memorial Sloan Kettering, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo along with another in Boston. All were 4-5 hours away. I chose Roswell Park because of all the Clinical Trials they were doing on Lung Cancer and in particular Malignant Pleural Effusions which was what I was Dxd with. That was in April last year. I called them and they told me to bring the results of everything I've had done and come on down. Three days later a Surgeon, a Medical Oncologist and a Radiation Oncologist sat down with me and reviewed my case. They ruled out radiation and surgery and I began Chemo the next week. All of these major cancer institutes are similiar. I would suggest that regardless of what the local people tell you about surgery that you should get a 2nd opinion from one of these cancer institutions. Sorry I've rambled on here but I feel strongly that you should start with the best. They don't have to guess because lung cancer is the only thing they deal with. Literally hundreds a week and they have access to the newest treatments and procedures.

Anyway Bill, welcome to the site. Think things over and I'm sure you will make the right decision. Best of luck and God Bless.


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I also live in the Pittsburgh area and had wonderful doctors from Allegheny General. I couldn't have asked for more. I had friends willing to send me to NY and help with the kids, but I needed to be closer to my support system, including my family. In the end, I was happy I stayed here, however, Pgh. is only about a 30 mile trip for me. I wouldn't have gone to the local hospital even if they could have performed the surgery -just wanted someone who specialized in lung cancer surgery. Good luck with your decision and God Bless!

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