I did my chemo and radiation locally. Oh, I went up to Seattle....to Fred Hutch ( part of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance rated as one of the top 5) and honestly, I didn't like it. While I was a stage IIA, they wanted to treat me as though I was some complicated case. They told me that they had better radiation machines and, of course, their chemo was somehow 'better' than the exact same thing I could get closer to home. I opted NOT to go there for treatment.....honestly, it would have been H**L to travel back and forth to Seattle first for radiation and then for chemo! I did all of that locally and it doesn't much matter where you are....the initial 'standard treatment' is just that....standardized for everyone. Now, I was NOT comfortable with the board certified colorectal surgeons nearby....I thought that they were JERKS! I did opt to have my surgery done in Seattle and don't regret that for a minute.
If your mom (and you) are comfortable with the team of doctors that she has now....stay with them. Just because the other docs might be affiliated with MDA....it doesn't equate that they are necessarily better. In my case, the docs at Fred Hutch all just seemed so disconnected.....I had a difficult time understanding some of them and I didn't like feeling like I was just another patient. Big centers aren't always the best fit. If you would be unhappy or not having the trust factor that you need to have.....it's not the right fit. In addition, your mom's onc is going to be her 'go to' doctor for quite some time and you have to be with someone that you like, trust and who is accessible.
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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