Where To Get Chemo? At Mayo or my local cancer center?

Posted by pjebp @pjebp, Oct 30, 2021

I recently had one week of proton beam radiation (short course) followed 3 days later with a LAR with anastomosis and temporary ileostomy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester All margins were cleared, however 9 of 30 nodes contained approximately 5% cancer cells and there were two microscopic nests in the fat surrounding the rectum. (The pathologist agreed to review my slides with my partner who happens to be a retired doctor.) I elected to have this treatment (short course radiation followed by surgery) at the recommendation of my Mayo team as they did see any distance spread and they could not even see any lymph nodes at all on my tests. (I will add that my local cancer center team wanted me to do 3 months of chemo followed by long course photon radiation / chemo pills then rest for a period of 10 weeks then have surgery.) Needless to say we were all disappointed. I have an appointment with a Mayo oncologist on November 8th to see what she will recommend. I did visit with an oncologist at my local Cancer center a few days ago, and he wants me to start Folfox chemo treatments on November 12th for 12 sessions. I will have another CT scan prior to starting the chemo. Of course at this point in time I have no idea if one place would be better than the other or different than the other. If I choose to get my chemo at Mayo it would be a 3.5 hour drive every other week for 6 months. Has anyone here experienced something similar and/or have any recommendations? Thank you!

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When I was at the Mayo 14 years ago, they told me I could do chemo anywhere. It is a prescribed medication. But they definitely wanted me at a cancer center for rectal radiation. I lived 12 hours from Rochester, so I did take chemo locally. I lived in Rochester for 6 weeks for radiation.

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@annejacobsen

When I was at the Mayo 14 years ago, they told me I could do chemo anywhere. It is a prescribed medication. But they definitely wanted me at a cancer center for rectal radiation. I lived 12 hours from Rochester, so I did take chemo locally. I lived in Rochester for 6 weeks for radiation.

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Thanks for your reply.

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Tough decision, 3-4 hour drive when you will not be feeling great is not desirable, especially in MN winter.

From reading your note, it sounds like Mayo and the local Cancer Center has two different treatment plan. The first decision is which treatment plan do you and your partner think is best for you. You should ask your Mayo provider why his/her treatment plan is better in your situation then what is recommendation from cancer center.

Then, if you decide to go with Mayo's treatment plan, is the local center willing to follow Mayo's treatment plan?

If treatment is for chemo, then local should be able to administer whatever provider orders. If more radiation is involved, is the equipment (protein beam) available in both places?

Wishing you best,

Laurie Miller

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