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I have just been recently diagnosed with lung cancer (nsclc) and I'm still in the process (seems like it takes forever!) of talking to oncologists and getting tests taken. Next week I get a PET scan and a bone scan and depending on results is when I decide what hospital/oncologist to go with. My question is how do you make a good decision? More than one family member has mentioned going to Houston, TX. What hospital is there and why is it considered so good? I don't know if my insurance (Coventry) would cover it. I live in the Kansas City, MO area. Of the 2 oncologists I've seen, one of them I really like but I can't base a decision on that. Any thoughts that would help me?


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Welcome, glad you found us. One thing you can do is check out online what other sites say is the common choice of treatment for your type of cancer and stage. Go to yahoo or google.com and type in the type of cancer and see where it takes you. I learned alot those first weeks by doing this. DO NOT BELIEVE THE PROGNOSIS. They don't know those of us with hope!

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The hospital that you are talking about in Houston is MD Anderson. I have heard that it is ranked the best hospital in the nation. A lot of people go there for second opinions and treatment protocol. I have been getting treatment at Sammons Cancer Treatment Center in Dallas, Tx.. My doctors are very defensive when they hear MD Anderson is better. My onc says, "we have the same technology, but they are involved in more clinical trials." Check with this board to find out treament options once you have been staged. Treatment will vary dependent upon type of cancer and stage you are in. If you are eligable for surgery, make sure he is the best and has done many of those types of procedures.

This board provides a wealth of information and support! I a sorry you have to be hear, but welcome you aboard.


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If you want an opinion from another cancer center than look for a Comprehensive Cancer Center. A Compresehnsive Cancer Center is linked to all the other Comprehensive Cancer Centers, and to the National Cancer Institute. The comprehensive Cancer Center has the ability to trade information and share information via the computer link.

Personally I go to the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center. You will find most of the larger university medical centers are also Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

Go to where you are comfortable and happy. It would take much tp pry me loose from the U of Wisc.

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This is such a difficult period, but it is essential to your recovery/survival that you get the best doctor possible and one you can relate to. I have been told that Houston is the best and certainly if it works for you to have an opinion from them, go for it. Personally, if I could have surgery, I would at least check with Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, because they have developed a less invasive (therefore, less recovery time) lung surgery. Even if you couldn't go there, they may have recommendations of other facilities doing the same. If you are at all uneasy about a doctor, move on...it's your life here. At a minimum, you want a lung cancer specialist...one who has seen it all and is ready/willing to tackle your case (better yet, a team).

Check out http://www.blochcancer.org/ and its newly diagnosed section.

Even if you start to feel like you are alone in this, believe me, you are not...you are cared about and supported by each of us touched by this disease.



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