Has Anyone in Montana Been Treated for Melanoma?

Posted By
7/17/2017 12:58pm
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Replies: 4

I live in an extremely remote valley in Montana, closest stoplight is 52 miles away and it is much easier finding a doctor for a horse than a human.  There is in theory only one melanoma specialist in the whole state, which I saw last Friday (I am stage 2b), and I am interested in getting a second opinion.  So can anyone out there recommend another oncologist in this land of the Big Sky and little else?

I think you may be hard pressed to find someone in Montana.  Someone else I know from Montana came to Salt Lake City.  Otherwise, Seattle would most likely be the best bet.  My friend in Spokane went to Seattle.  North Dakota and Wyoming aren't going to help but I'm not sure about Boise (although I haven't heard of specialists being called out from there).  Huntsman in SLC or SCCA in Seattle.  Seattle is bigger but not sure which is closer to you.

Thank you, Janner, I actually contacted Huntsman when I was first diagnosed, getting the remarkable answer that I was not really "sick enough" at Stage 2b to warrant too much attention too soon relative to the later stages that do need more help.  I can understand that, but if that perspective in any way actually reflects how Huntsman approaches medicine in general, I would not want to go there anyway.  And, yes, Seattle is on my radar, as are a few other possibilities. 

I've gone to Huntsman for years, and at Stage 1B, I'm not exactly sick enough either.  I have had 3 primaries which keep me higher on the radar.  I see a cutaneous oncologist and I don't see a medical oncologist.  Stage 2b is just a bad spot.  Rarely qualify for treatments or clinical trials, but higher risk for recurrence than some stage 3 folks.  I've met several of the researchers there as well as the melanoma surgical oncologist.  (My Dad was stage IV melanoma treated at the SLC VA - and also saw Huntsman doctors).  Immunotherapy has always been a focus at Huntsman but again, your staging doesn't quite get you there.  You might be in the same boat at SCCA, really.   I've been hospitalized at Huntsman for something unrelated to melanoma and have to say I had stellar care - just a differing point of view.  I hope you find a good solution for you!

Hi again, Janner, just a quick note.  You mentioned a cutaneous oncologist in your previous response, which is a specialization I did not know existed.  Anyway, your comment allowed me to narrow my searches a bit more and I stumbled across a Mayo Clinic partnership that led back to the Billings Clinic here in Montana, meaning that by going there I will have access to Mayo expertise as well.  That is probably the solution for me, so again thanks for your comments, not sure I would have discovered this without them.