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Recommendations for lung cancer hospital in Northeast


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My husband was recently diagnosed with Stage IV NSC LC, with 4 lesions in the brain. He is currently undergoing WBRT. When that is done, I want to pursue a second opinion. We live in upstate New York.

I am torn between going to Dana-Farber in Boston or Sloan-Kettering in New York City. Any recommendations or accounts of personal experiences would be extremely helpful.



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Hi Terri,

Welcome and sorry you had to find us under these circumstances. Best place with lots of support, information and caring from a great group of (the best) people. I only had to go to the Dana Farber once for a platelet transfusion. My experience their was very pleasant. My doctor told me early on depending on my treatments and progress if necessary she would send me there. It is a top-notch hospital. Sloan and Dana are ranked in the top 5 hospitals for cancer in the country. Hope this helps. Peace, take care and God Bless.


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http://www.alcase.org/education/publica ... reath.html (With Every Breath A Lung Cancer Guidebook / From ALCASE / A Wealth Of Information / Free)

http://www.cancersurvivaltoolbox.org (The Cancer Survival Toolbox / Free / From NCCS)

http://www.centerwatch.com (Clinical Trails Listing Service / Center Watch)

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&editi ... ung+cancer (Lung Cancer In The News)

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http://www.meds.com/lung/lunginfo.html (Lung Cancer Information Library)

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http://www.docguide.com/news/content.ns ... g%20Cancer (Doctor’s Guide / Lung Cancer)

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http://www.medicinenet.com/Lung_Cancer/article.htm (Medicine Net)

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http://www.lungcanceronline.org/effects ... fects.html (Lung Cancer Online / Hematologic (Blood) Effects)

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http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/C ... ung_cancer (Health Insite)

http://www.lungcancerclaims.com (Lung Cancer / Lung Cancer Information Page)

http://www.cancerlifecenter.com/engine. ... =dictionar (Cancer Life Center/ Cancer Dictionary)

http://www.canceryellowpages.com/Resour ... G%20CANCER (Cancer yellow Pages)

http://icare.org (ICARE / The International Cancer Alliance)

http://www.vh.org/index.html (Virtual Hospital)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/support/financial.html (Lung Cancer Online / Financial, Legal & Insurance Issues)

http://cancernews.healthology.com/focus ... cancernews (Cancer News)

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Thanks for your words about Dana-Farber and for the multiple internet references. I do my surfing at night between 11pm and 2am. Your list will keep me busy for many nights to come.

I feel that the more informed I am, the more I can help my husband through this. What did people do before the internet? How lonely and helpless they must have felt.


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Guest Sheezbusy

I can tell you that Dana Farber saved my cousins life. At 42, dx with primary peritoneal cancer of undertermined origin. Had surg at UMass. They took out what they could but left several tu7mors still in her that where too vascularized to touch. She went to Dana Farber for chemo and they gave her the lastest in clinical trial. I am waiting for this December and she will be 5 YEARS CANCER FREE!!!! CURED!!! :D

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I have to agree with everyone else about Dana Faber. We live 30 minutes from Boston. Our dr's here were all on staff at Dana Faber, had meetings there everyweek, and when Chris was in the hospital, all the 'weekend' dr's were from Dana Faber.

I have never heard anyone say anything bad about them. They are certainly more than up to date on the latest treatments and clinical trials. And more, they are a great group of caring, compassionate, and humorous Dr's. I don't think you could gone wrong there at all.


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Thank you all. I was leaning toward Sloan-Kettering but you have changed my thinking.

I have a brother who lives in Boston and when I told him of my dilemma of choosing between Sloan-Kettering and Dana Farber, he told me to visit both and then decide. I called our insurance company (BlueCross/BlueShield) and they said both visits would be covered. So why not?

Now to convince my husband, who is feeling the effects of whole brain radiation, and reluctant to take any major trips.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, we made the trip to New York City and Memorial Sloan-Kettering. I thought I would pass on our experience.

The doctor was very nice and caring and took his time. We learned that cancer can spread two ways, via the lymphatic system and via the blood stream. Apparently, my husband's cancer entered the blood stream very early which explains why it is so advanced.

The doctor feels that the treatment my husband has received so far is appropriate. There is no advantage to pursuing treatment in New York. There are no clinical trials or new breakthroughs on the horizon that Memorial Sloan-Kettering has to offer.

I quizzed the doctor about Celebrex and he agreed, although not enthusiastically, that it might be beneficial for my husband to take it.

I quizzed the doctor about Tarceva. He says that Tarceva, like Iressa, has been beneficial for a small population of lung cancer patients and might be worth considering as a third line of treatment.

So was the trip worth it?

I'm glad we went but I am vaguely disappointed. I can't get over the feeling that the doctor was just appeasing us. I suspect that doctors are extremely reluctant to negate what other doctors have already done. Did this doctor truly agree 100% with the treatment prescribed so far or was he just confirming the treatment out of professional courtesy?

I will never know.

We are off to Dana Farber in Boston next week.

To be continued ...


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I think, unfortunately, is that there really is definitive 'cure' for lung cancer. Each person's body chemistry reacts differently to the treatments so there really is no road map. I would hate to think that a doctor would just rubber stamp another doctor's treatment plan.

I keep reviewing information about different treatments and then ask our doctors about them in relation to Earl. The best explanation I got about all of this was from our rad. oncologist. He went over the risk/benefit portion of each treatment. A good doctor should really know all the risks and benefits to each treatment, explain them to you, and, I think, make a recommendation.

But if your husband is willing (and the insurance company or the lottery folks let you) I would investigate with the major cancer centers. Each one is working on their own clinical trials and may have a different approach for your husband.

Keep us posted.

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Wow Terry. I am so I am so impressed with what you are doing! We also live in the Northeast (almost on the Canadian Border) and have decided to stay with the doctors in our own region. It was a difficult decision because one of our kids kept insisting that we check out Burlington, VT which is where everyone up here goes for serious things. I really didn't want to make my husband travel unless it was truly necessary.

I do think that wherever you decided to be it is important that you can gain good trust and faith in your doctors or you will always be wondering.

For us, being close to home has been wonderful for my husband. I too have discovered by carefully reading this board that my husband IS being treated similarly to others who have the same as he does. I am truly thankful that we have the advantage of some excellent doctors way up here "in the boondocks".

My best to you and your husband from the North Country!

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