Finding an MPN Specialist, Seeking a Second Opinion

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Topics include: Treatments and Understanding

 Many patients are reluctant to seek second, or even third, opinions. Renowned experts, Dr. Srdan Verstovsek and Dr. Jason Gotlib, explain why a second opinion is imperative, especially with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). The experts discuss the importance of taking charge of your care, explaining how community oncologists and MPN specialists can work together as a team to treat your illness and to give you the best possible outcome.

Sponsored by Incyte Corporation, CTI BioPharma and Geron Corporation. 

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of MD Anderson Cancer Center, its medical staff or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Jeff Folloder:

We’re not all fortunate enough to live in a place like Houston or one of the larger medical communities in the United States. Is it still worthwhile to seek out an MPN specialist? Will an MPN specialist work with a local oncologist?

Dr. Gotlib:

Absolutely. I think it’s important that that is appreciated by the patients. So for that first second opinion, you can go see that specialist, and then we will provide very specific recommendations to the referring doctor saying, these are the options, this is what we would recommend. This is the frequency of lab draws.

Lab draws—you don’t need to travel 250 miles back to a specialist. They can be done locally. They can be faxed to us. We can keep an eye on things from a distance. I think that is a very useful approach.

Dr. Verstovsek:

At the time of initial diagnosis, at the time of diagnosis, I think it’s important to really establish the basic information about the disease. Because we said at the beginning it is the diagnostic criteria, five or six different factors that have to come together to diagnose MPN or even the types of MPN.

We have recently—and that was published about six months ago—looked at our patients with myelofibrosis where we are a referral center. Second opinions, third opinions, so they should be patients with established disease already, correct? And 15 percent of our patients with myelofibrosis actually did not have myelofibrosis.

Jeff Folloder:

Interesting.

Dr. Verstovsek:

And we changed the diagnoses on 15 percent of the patients even in referral centers. So I think the initial evaluation of the patient is very important. And I would not hesitate looking for, even if it’s far away, for a one visit with somebody who does this every single day.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of MD Anderson Cancer Center, its medical staff or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on November 12, 2015