Newly Diagnosed, Stage III, looking for Melanoma specialist near Las Vegas NV

Posted By
Harley Worthet
11/2/2017 10:09pm
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Replies: 10

HI all.  

Brand new guy, 1st post.  I'very been enjoying all the good info here for a few days now.  

I didn't catch a nodal melanoma on back of head until it was quite advanced. (5.4 cm deep)  Got thru 2 courses of Yervoy, which caused colitus/internal bleeding that was so bad they had to infuse remecade.  

During hospital admission for remecade I peeked at my chart when nobody was in the room, which showed details my oncologist had not shared with me, namely `mets to chest`.  This was a huge shock that set me reeling; That was 2 days ago & I decided not to tell my wife until tomorrow's Dr appt so as not to ruin our wedding anniversary.  

Today the cancer center called to say my oncologist was now `indefinitely unavailable` (Very bad implications here) but we could still come in tomorrow & speak with their nurse practicioner.  I understand they`re trying to deal with the chaos of all those patients being dumped on the remaining Dr's but telling me it'l take 2 months to schedule another oncologist is not acceptable.

Yervoy appears to be out of play & now there's no way to get a plan B. I'm keeping all this to myself while trying not to freak out. 

I need to find another cancer center stat.  Anyone know of a good melanoma specialist in the Southern NV area?  

Thanks so much in advance, 

Mike 

The only melanoma specialist I'm aware of in LV is Wofram Samlowski.

Thank you for the prompt reply Anon!  

Pls understand that we really liked our Oncologist.  It`s just that he`s gone now & I feel like a kid who lost his daddy.  Time to settle down & soldier on.  

Mike,

Sorry to hear your recent diagnose and losing your oncologist.  I'm new here as well but there are many knowledgeable folks here that I bet can help.  Hope all works out.

Terry

Keep in mind that many people travel to see a specialist so if that's a possibility for you then you'd have more options. I live in Kentucky and get infusions here but fly to Houston for treatment plan, surgery, biopsies etc.

Hi Mike,

Understandably melanoma diagnosis is bad enough to deal with it lets alone losing your oncologist so soon but try to calm down and think in perspective.With possible met in the chest you have to likely travel  to see a melanoma specialst anyway. Have your tumor been tested for BRAF or any other gene mutations?Is the chest met surgically resectable or not?These are all questions you have to ask upon consultation with a melanoma specialist. If BRAF positive there is the targeted therapy , then there is immunotherapy if wild type /checkpoint inhibitors/.Find the link Bubble posted multiple times on all available treatments for metastatic melanoma.I think this link should be made available in the bar menu for any new patiens coming to this site to click on and read.Best of luck to you and please request a consultation with a melanoma center of excellence.

Hi Mike

We’re in Mesquite and go to St. George UT, over the border - Intermountain Southwest Cancer Center. We see Dr. Haslem, and though I don’t think he’s taking anymore patients, there are a group of Oncologists. We’re in a Genomics trial study through the Salt Lake City cancer center. They’re all connected. So far, we’re extremely impressed.

Hi Mike, I'm so sorry to hear about what you learned by looking at your charts and about your disappearing oncologist. Truly a pile on! It makes sense to consider the suggestion above to travel, and I'd like to suggest for your consideration coming to LA. UCLA's Jonnson Center is a short distance -- although sometimes a long drive in LA traffic -- from LAX. And that is not the only stellar option in LA for fighting melanoma. Check out the responses to my first post on 9/26 for other recommendations or ping me. -- Carol

 

I've got to agree with Carol on Los Angeles being on the "consideration" pile. :)  For me, USC Norris is a 3.5 hour drive... but toooootally worth every minute in the car. 

I see mentioned by others Wolfram Samlowski in the Vegas area. He is the only melanoma oncologist I've heard of in the Vegas area but I've also heard he is quite good.
Intermountain Cancer Centers is the term on Facebook if you're connected for Southwest Regional Cancer Center in St George, Utah. Otherwise they're phone is 435-688-4900. Dr Haslem and Dr Nadauld were my husband's doctors. I can't say enough good about that facility. If you're interested to go there contact the office and ask to talk with a nurse navigator. They will assist you in getting an appointment or answering questions you may have and what they offer for Stage 3 or Stage 4. From there you would be assigned a regular medical oncologist. It may be suggested with your melanoma that you also consult with Dr. Lincoln Nadauld who is working with the genomics program or you may consult with Dr.Terence Rhodes who is heading the immuno program. Dr. Rhodes works with Imlygic too.
Regardless wherever you go you'll need your records. I would suggest you go ahead and request a copy for yourself but if you're going to check out St. George they might assist you.
Best wishes ... and I also agree with you. Timing with melanoma is critical.

Cathy

So sorry to hear your situation.  I can't imagine losing my oncologist.  Waiting two months for the office to regroup just isn't OK.  I'm in the Boston area and se quite a few patients a Dana Farber who travel up the eastern seaboard for care.  Perhaps traveling to CA would be an option for you?  I know you don't want to upset your spouse but maybe having that support right now would be just the thing you need.  I know it isn't easy leaning on someone else when you are used to being strong and independant but if there ever was a time it would be now.  Over the past year I've leaned on my husband more than I ever imagined I would.  I'm just gaining my independance back fully and now he's trying to adjust.

Good wishes to you.

Jennifer