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Medical Oncologist in Florida?


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Hi, All.

Just wondering if anyone can recommend a good medical oncologist, specializing in lung cancer, in south Florida. My mom just completed her radiation therapy and chemo 8x and next steps will be determined at the end of the month. She'll likely start a new round of chemo, cisplatin and navelbine, 2 weeks on and 1 week off for the next 3 months. First, does anyone have experience with these drugs and what we might expect in terms of side effects compared with the carbo/taxol she received so far?

My parents usually spend the winter in Delray Beach, FL and they'd really like to do that this winter also. The doctor said she can certainly continue the regimen down there, but she'll need to find an oncologist. Wondering if any of you are from that area and can recommend someone or at least a good hospital that she should consider.



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Hi and welcome. I am not familiar with those particular chemo drugs but am sure someone will come along who is. As far as finding a place for your Mother to have treatment, I have considerable experience in that area. My primary oncologist is at MDA in Orlando and I live in Key West. A year ago last Sep, I started getting my infusions in KW with my onc in Orlando remaining my primary. I go to Orlando periodically for scans and a clinical visit with her.

My husband's business requires extensive travel in the summer and I travel with him and get chemo "on the road." I can't recommend any facility in Delray Beach but I can tell you how I did it. Key West, no choice, only one cancer center. Before I travel, I go online and find the centers closest to where I will be staying. I don't do big hospitals. Most areas have cancer centers now and since I have an onc at a primo hospital, I find the cancer centers very user friendly for the purpose of getting treatment. They are usually small and more personal and now I have repeated treatments in Corning New York and in Mt Holly NJ. The only time I had a personal reference was this year in Portsmouth OH. The person managing the campground where we were staying had cancer and recommended her oncologist--again at a small center. In Mt Holly, I go to Virtua hospital and it's fine, but I would opt for the cancer centers I've used as I travel any day.

Good luck and don't hesitate to start your search on the net..

Judy in KW

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I've been to Tampa for one long weekend, so no help there. My first line of chemo was cisplatin and gemcitabine for 4 cycles. I had this after surgery and before radiation. 4-6 cycles of platinum doublet appears to be the most typical treatment. Cisplatin is considered more challenging than carbo, but they are almost interchangeable. I'm not sure why the recommendation is for so many cycles.

You might find it helpful to read some of Grace's posts on NSCLC treatment?

Here's that seems very applicable:

http://cancergrace.org/lung/2010/09/24/ ... e-therapy/

or this thread:

http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php ... 0#msg41940

Best to your Mom (and you).

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Hi Leslie,

My MIL lives in Delray Beach but has never had any cancer treatments so I don't think she'd have any recommendations. However last year I had 3 months of cisplatin and navelbine. The first treatment I didn't do well at all but after that they lowered the dosage and I did much better. With the cisplatin it made for a very long day since they had to hydrate me for 4 hrs before the chemo and for 4 hours after the chemo. I hope your mom has a port because the navelbine is hard on veins. The nausea was not too bad with all the medicine they give you now. Be sure she stays hydrated - drink lots of water. The fatigue can get really bad - it seemed to me to get worse the more treatments I had. You can also get neuropathy - I have some in my toes. Be sure and let the oncologist know if that starts to happen. My blood counts dropped too but they checked that every time I went for treatment and gave me shots to keep it up.

Good luck to your mom.


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Hi, Leslie. Keeping in mind that everyone is different and there's a lot of variation in what side effects an individual will get from a particular chemo, I'll just say that of all the chemos I've had in the past 4 years (see below), Cisplatin was the roughest and I refused to have more than one infusion of it. On the other hand, Navelbine alone is the easiest I've had, and it's resulted in the first shrinkage my tumors have seen since 2007.

Do you know your mom's lung cancer subtype? If it's adenocarcinoma, Alimta would be a good chemo choice, and it could be effective given alone. And either adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma might respond to the daily pill Tarceva, even if she doesn't have the EGFR mutation which predicts a very good response to that drug.

As ts indicated, you'll get the very best treatment information at cancergrace.org (GRACE, Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education). Try entering this in a Google window:

site:cancergrace.org cisplatin navelbine



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Hi Leslie,

I have the same diagnosis and did the Carbo/Taxol. My first choice was the Cisplatin/Navelbine because I was told it would have less side affects (hair loss, nauseau, numbness, etc). Once discovered that I had 3A they said I need to do the Carbo/Taxol, this was the most aggresssive to save the other treatment for later if needed.

I know the Naveline is easier on you, but not sure about the Cisplatin. Wishing your mom the best during your treatment.


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