I was diagnosed in August and had a full hysterectomy three weeks later. The cancer was contained– Stage 1B and supposedly gone but I had to do a chemo sweep and will be doing radiation next.
I am wondering about the value of a medical consult with Dr Birrer after radiation therapy has been completed? I would like to understand what else I can do to help myself after completing radiation. I don’t know if it should be a consult with someone like Dr. Birrer or an overall health progrram (diet, exercise, supplements, herbs, meditation).
I’m sorry to hear that you have this diagnosis. It’s very good, though, to hear that the cancer was found at an early stage, all removed and that you’ve completed chemotherapy and are scheduled for radiation treatment.
Your question about a second opinion is warranted. We strongly suggest a second opinion to ensure that you are receiving the best care. And as you are doing, it’s so important to self-advocate and be vigilant about your health, especially when diagnosed with gyn carcinosarcoma.
Most importantly, we recommend that all patients be cared for by a gynecologic oncologist who has significant expertise in carcinosarcoma. We have identified a few physicians (in addition to Dr. Birrer and Dr. Arend) who have much experience caring for patients with gyn carcinosarcoma and have included these names on our website. If you don’t find anyone near you, let us know and we can try to help.
It’s difficult for patients to identify the experience of their doctor. Patients who have their diagnosis and care at a health care system affiliated with a university may be more likely to be treated by physicians who see more patients with gyn carcinosarcoma. These oncologists may also have more options for alternate therapies if the cancer is resistant to the standard care or returns (immunotherapy, clinical trials, and so on).
It is also important to be screened at reasonable intervals. The “reasonable” options can vary quite a bit (several months, 6 months, a year) and may vary per patient, depending on the amount of cancer present on first diagnosis, treatment, and so on.
I hope others on the forum will share about seeking a second opinion.
Regarding other ways to improve your recovery and health, I’m hoping others on the forum will share their experiences.
Please keep in touch.
All the best,
Kathy Wilt, Ph.D., R.N
Member, Board of Directors, The GCS Project