Skip to content
finding a good oncologist post breast cancer
avatar
An_257021 posted:
I found a small lump in my right breast almost exactly one year ago and (by choice) had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery which was completed last October. I was referred to an oncologist who became very defensive when I asked questions about the treatment she recommended. I have taught research design to graduate students and was able to read the research studies the treatment was based on, and I was unimpressed with its efficacy, to say the least. But my questions seemed to annoy her and she ended up YELLING at me! I would very much like to find an oncologist who could discuss my treatment with me without becoming upset if I question its efficacy. Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? I have not been back for any follow up as a result of this horrible experience, which was not my first horrible experience with health care.
Reply
 
avatar
atti_editor responded:
Hello,

I am sorry that you had such a bad experience at your oncologist appointment. It is certainly important that you feel comfortable with your doctor and are able to discuss the nuances of your treatment without being yelled at. You might find this article on choosing a breast cancer specialist helpful as it goes through how to find a specialist, what to look for, and more.

Best wishes,
Atti
 
avatar
kavi2 replied to atti_editor's response:
Thanks, but the hospital was UCSD Moore's Cancer Center, which is highly rated, and the doctor also had all the right credentials, which is why I thought I might actually be able to discuss the research with her in depth and have my questions answered.
I couldn't access full articles online, so I asked the doctor if she would get the articles for me. She did, albeit ungraciously. It appeared from my reading that women who chose to have double mastectomies, as I did, were not considered separately from those who only had lumps removed. (I chose this, though the surgeon did not think it was necessary, because the lump was small, and cancer had not spread into lymph nodes.) This seems as though it would be fairly important in terms of long term survival.
 
avatar
Anon_13498 responded:
I hope everything is well with you and yours! It is good to not hear that you had complications regarding your surgery:-)

I would strongly recommend you search for another medical oncologist. I have difficulty with a couple of physicians that behaved in an inappropriate manner such as this.

Perhaps she was having a not so good day; I know that profession must be depressing at times--and most rewarding as well. Dealing with Breast Cancer is like a roller coaster.
I am not sure if you did so and you can do a license look up search in your state via web site (I Hope) and see the Doctor's
credientials, license, and if there have been complaints, law suits and etc.

I understand what you are saying regarding efficacy. My first bout with breast cancer was in 1997. I had a lumpectomy followed with removal of lymph nodes, chemotherapy, radiation
and then tamoxifen for a 5 year period.

According to all the statistics regarding the type of cancer so forth and so on... I should not have had a re-occurrence
So those statistics didn't hold true in my case. And you know ...ladies that I stay in touch with that went through this journey..each with different types and so forth..no re-occurrence. I think is is a "crap shoot" and
God has been absolutely great to me- I am fortunate to have gone 12 years without a re-occurence;;;-

I found a second lump in 2009 and decided to have a bi-lateral mastectomy. I finished up my reconstruction in the Spring of 2012.
My complications were due to the tissue being weak in the breast that the initial lump was in; radiation broke it down. Cosmetically it looked like everything would be fine for reconstruction and unfortunately it wasn't.
The plastic surgeon that worked with my surgeon that did the initial lumpectomy and I were not compatible to say the least.

He got upset when I asked him questions regarding procedures when I brought to his attention about a problem with the breast that had been radiated before (infection in the left breast I guess when I left the hospital) he didn't really pay attention. Another story here. My husband said I frustrated
him with my questions as he couldn't answer them. That is what a physician is for.

Anyway the surgery was in October, 2009 and I finally got some smarts and started looking for another plastic surgeon.
Got a second opinion and this doctor got his ego stepped on.
(The second plastic surgeon called him and talked to him about me and I didn't give him permission- The plastic surgeon started to lower his attentiveness and care during the stage of injecting saline solution in the expanders and "drug his feet " regarding the final procedure.
To make a long story short I had to go out of state to find a plastic surgeon and a medical oncologist. I am doing fine--
again God has been good to me:)

I hope this help:-)


Helpful Tips

DIEP Flap Survival
Sept 7, 2012: Bilateral Mastectomy and immediate DIEP Flap reconstruction. I live in Washington, DC, area and have great insurance and ... More
Was this Helpful?
1 of 1 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Breast Cancer Center