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Pancreas Cancer

West Coast was posted 07/01/2005 11:07 pm by mrs
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If you are on or near the West Coast there are several places to go to. For oncology in Northern California is Dr. Margaret Tempero who specializes and develops chemo combinations used by other doctors. Not sure of which surgeon there since we went to Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles at UCLA is Dr. William Isacoff for oncology. He uses some of Tempero's combinations and others. For surgery, there is Dr. Howard Reber. We only used Dr. Isacoff for a third opinion. I found him to be rather quiet and did notice I had to pester him to view Dad's scans. Our Dad didn't get to try the combination Isacoff recommended. Dad got ill before using it and Isacoff said to wait a few months before starting chemo again to see where the cancer was located.

We went to USC University Hospital in Los Angeles. Our Dad had his whipple done by Dr. Rick Selby who is Chief of the Hepatobiliary/Pancreas and Liver Transplant Surgery there. He has done around two dozen if not a few more whipples involving vein involvement. He cuts veins and arteries all the time in transplants and considers a whipple surgery easy to do since transplants are more difficult. I think he averages over 250 total GI related surgeries/transplants in a year. He does between 30 to 50 whipples himself with his team doing just as many between them along with Dr. Parehk at USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Hospital.

You can read about Dr. Selby at http://livertransplant.org/facultyandstaff-selbyrick-cv.html He has a wonderful caring bedside manner and the first doctor we heard nurses say they love as do their patients when he is around. He was aggressive and our Dad survived almost five years after his whipple. Dr. Selby also helped with the liver resection when the cancer returned and recommended other procedures for our Dad leaving up the decision to undergo it or not. He also takes the time to explain things so you understand without being condescending and never rude. He also specializes in using bloodless surgical techniques which help patients heal quicker with less chance of infection.

If you need an oncologist at USC/Norris is Dr. Heinz-Josef Lenz. He is a reknown clinical oncology researcher in gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Laheru from Johns Hopkins said Dr. Lenz was one of the best in the Western United States. Google Heinz-Josef Lenz and you get tons of hits and his email. I overheard patients saying thank you for answering their email and so much more. We had Dr. Garcia, but I learned about Dr. Lenz is the best.

If you do come to the West Coast, do get opinions from both USC and UCLA if you are unsure. Both have advantages and some disadvantages, but our experience at USC was overall very good. Enough so, we donated in both our parents memory and have an exam room named in their memory in the new clinic for the Hepatobiliary/Pancreas, Abdominal Transplant floor.

Also call PanCAN at 1-877-272-6226 and ask for a PALS associate. They can give you names of doctors in your area specializing in treating pancreatic cancer in your area. Also so much more information and it is all free. Take care..........Mary

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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
FULL DISCLAIMER


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