Do you have an amazing oncologist? Share please.
March 9, 2011 5:06 PM   Subscribe

this is a shot in the dark but........ does anyone have an amazing, compassionate, etc etc oncologist in the oklahoma city area? i need one asap dad's cancer is rare: gist so i don't expect to find any one who specializes in that - (i've already googled it and its a no go for oklahoma). help, please. thanks in advance!
posted by zoesmom to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
I am so sorry about your dad. I would suggest taking a look the Cancer Survivor's Network run by the American Cancer Society. If you poke around on the discussion boards there's a wealth of information - maybe someone will have a suggestion for you.

Best of luck to you and your dad.
posted by Ostara at 5:11 PM on March 9, 2011

Could he afford to travel at all? The Mayo Clinic schedules patients based on need (the patients that need them the most get in to see the doctors the fastest) and I've had several family members travel there for highly specialized treatment. They condense the testing and consultations as much as possible so the patients are there for the shortest amount of time.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:29 PM on March 9, 2011

MD Anderson is just down the road, in Houston. Many times you can have a doctor at MD Anderson who runs the tests and prescribes the medicines and actions, but who works with a doctor who is local to the patient. So, your dad would first see someone in Houston, then could get treatments (radiation and chemo) in Oklahoma, per the orders from the Houston doctor.
posted by Houstonian at 5:38 PM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Agreeing with the young, a rare disease that cries out to be treated by a specialist may require the patient to travel to the specialist. Google around and see who, around the country, you might want to see, where they're located, and whether they accept your health insurance. Then work on the logistics of getting there. Best wishes.
posted by exphysicist345 at 5:40 PM on March 9, 2011

Everything I ever hear about rare cancers points to MD Anderson as the place to go-- and even if you think you can't make it to Houston, you should make contact with them and see if there's any course of action they can suggest to you that would either make it possible or get you in with someone within your means more locally.

(My retinal specialist is based at UCLA, but he Knows a Guy in every other place I've ever been when I had a problem on the road. When you get into weird medical corner cases, there are only so many people involved, and they all know each other and will refer you around.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 5:51 PM on March 9, 2011

Chiming in here to agree with all the other advice - MD Anderson (TX), Mayo (MN), Memorial Sloan (NYC), even the NIH (MD) all have top oncologists, and you want the specialist who knows the particular type of cancer inside and out.

The expense and 'trouble' of going to see the best for that particular type is well worth every effort.
posted by scooterdog at 6:04 PM on March 9, 2011

I'm biased toward MD Anderson, but I work there so that's to be expected. People are on the right track that you want the best treatment you can get for a rare disease - and at a place like MD Anderson, that's what you get. Comprehensive Cancer Centers are what you want particularly because of their unique ability to put you in touch with experimental treatments that would be unavailable to other oncologists.

There is a support network in place for people with and surviving GIST. Barring just calling a comprehensive cancer center like the ones named above, consider getting in touch with them to ask their opinion about how to seek treatment.
posted by jph at 7:01 PM on March 9, 2011

Get him in to see an oncologist who treats his family of cancer (even if he doesn't specialize in this particular one) at the nearest major teaching hospital. Someone there will be able to get you referred to MD Anderson or similar.

Good luck. This is scary. Take care of yourselves.
posted by thinkingwoman at 8:22 PM on March 9, 2011

You can self-refer to MD Anderson and other hospitals in terms of getting an appointment. Of course you want to follow your insurance company's protocol in terms of referrals.

For the Mayo Clinic, at least, you call and speak to a nurse who discusses your condition with you and asks you a ton of questions then schedules an appointment. They also have staff that will help with the insurance as well as screening you for charity care and other social service programs. I'm sure that MD Anderson has similar staff.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:28 PM on March 9, 2011

Definitely look into MD Anderson.
posted by domino at 6:42 AM on March 10, 2011

The individuals I know here in the area (Norman/OKC) who have cancer go to MD Anderson.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:07 AM on March 10, 2011

just logging in to say thanks to everyone. i do know quite a bit about md anderson as my cousin was a cancer patient there for years. her docs were amazing. i was just hoping for someone closer but the best is the best and that's what we want. stay well everyone.
posted by zoesmom at 8:17 AM on March 11, 2011

Dallas is a bit closer to home, and there is an NCI (not comprehensive) Cancer Center (Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center) at UT Southwestern
If you speak to the doctors at an academic medical center (it looks like there is a cancer center at the OU medical center in Oklahoma city, with a GI cancer team even), they might be able to get you in contact with GIST specialists elsewhere and assist you in figuring out where you need to go to get on a trial, if there are any of interest.
posted by anthropophagous at 9:13 AM on March 11, 2011

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