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2nd opinions, costs, etc. 2nd opinions, costs, etc.

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Unread 02-05-2004, 11:23 PM
2nd opionion, costs, etc

Hello All and of course, dear Forgen

Just FYI.... I had my 2nd opinion for my vaginal cancer at the cancer center of Amsterdam yesterday, with a gyn oncologist and a radiation therapy oncologist. I was given the same option as Forgen. I too realize that it's drastic and I hate the idea! I have looked and researched and have found this is the 'standard' treatment for recurring vaginal and some other types of cancers. If I'm not mistaken, even Mayo's website mentions it. All I can say is let's all keep giving and pushing for cancer research and treatment! There has got to be better ways that burn, killing cells with chemo and cutting things out.

Since I'm an American, living in holland, of course I wanted that 2nd opionion and even treatment in America. So, I contacted what is termed the best hospital for cancer in America, it's at the top of the 100 best hospitals for treatment and outcome. A very nice lady called me and explained the costs of a 2nd opinion. The cost without insurance at Anderson is $2500- and you must bring of course all nec. CT scans and pictures, and documentation. This price would be increased in the case of additional needed bloodwork, and that sort of thing, completely understandable. She said there is the other option though, of sending all the documentaion in to them and then they would get with me within a week to advise me of the outcome.... the price, $900-

I asked MD Anderson about financial assistance, there is none, but there might, after the initial treatment and financial outlay be payment plans which is standard. The nice lady also mentioned that if I wished to avoid costs as much as possible, that it was possible to contact Houston County Hospital for assistance.

I hope that this information is helpful to all. I found it helpful here for me. There might be other options and I hope that there are.. but I personally have not found them in my case. As for me, I will be having my surgery here... I hate the idea, but if it's a cure, then i must do it. The one good thing here in Holland, I'm 100% covered for all medical needs and so far all Dr's here have concurred with what i have read and heard from other vaginal cancer sufferers worldwide.

FYI.... I completly agree with eating correctly. It's always smart to cut back and/or eliminate sugars, oils, espec those nasty hydrogenated ones, and refined wheat products.

Many hugs to all from this gal, who is none to happy about things either.... but still ever hopeful


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Unread 02-07-2004, 01:32 PM
2nd opinions, costs, etc.

Hi Maria,

I am so sorry the costs for a 2nd opinion are so high. Add that to the air fare and room& board, it would be extremely expensive. I do think that the advice you are getting is fairly standard for our cancer. Since you have already been radiated there is nothing to do but take everything out necessary to get clean margins. I just wish they would spend a little more money on our cancer and maybe come up with a chemo that works. I did see one study where they added another chemical to the standard chemo and they got much better results. I did not bookmark the study though and I do not remember where it is. Sometimes I feel kind of like a step child or something in the cancer world.

I know you will have clean lymph nodes and the surgery will cure you. You are one brave lady.

Take Care,
Unread 02-07-2004, 05:51 PM

I wish you could come here for the second consult, but indeed you seem to have researched this very carefully. May you have the strength for the surgery and may that be the cure for you. We're all with you in spirit and prayer. I wish you could've had better news.
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Unread 02-08-2004, 06:49 AM
2nd opinions, costs, etc.

Maria, sorry about your news and difficulties with your second opinion. Good that all of the doctors concur. That would have made it even more difficult if their opinions varied.
I will keep hoping with you for this successful surgery and cure. s
Unread 02-08-2004, 11:42 PM
2nd opinions, costs, etc.

Hi, Maria!

The $900 option sounds reasonable, provided you get to at least speak with a doctor for a normal amount of appointment time (10-15 minutes). If you can send them the paperwork and they can review it, perhaps you will have the right second opinion after all.

When I think about all the things I could easily spend $900 on, it seems silly to not want to spend that on my health. But I do understand not wanting to spend the money to just hear the same opinion. If there are no alternative treatments available, and if a vaginectomy is really the most successful treatment, then your decision might be made for you.

I'm so sorry you're still having to go through all of this. I hope your husband is being supportive and that things are good between you. Your spirits seem high, which is a wonderful sign. I know that you won't let this thing beat you!


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