Finding Good Care
Sarcoma centers are the facilities most familiar with GIST. You may choose to travel to be treated at an expert GIST center, or you may opt to find a local oncologist who is willing to work cooperatively with a GIST expert at a sarcoma center.
Is finding a specialist important?
Finding a doctor who has had many cases of GIST is the most important thing you will ever do. GIST is unpredictable in the sense that all cases do not behave alike. The doctor most capable of saving your life is one who has seen GIST in all its many guises. Many of us travel for expert medical care. A good local oncologist who is willing to work cooperatively with an expert (and defer to expert opinion) is another good option for you.
We have compiled a list of sarcoma centers and hospitals from which the physicians have been active in publishing about GIST and participating in consensus development groups regarding GIST treatment. This list is shown on the page GIST Clinics and Doctors. Other hospitals and doctors may well be excellent, but not necessarily the best choice for a patient with a rare sarcoma with a wide variability in characteristics and behavior.
GIST Centers in USA
Right now some of the most experienced GIST oncologists and surgeons in the USA are at these centers (listed alphabetically):
- Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
- Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
- M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
- Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
- Moores Cancer Center, UCSD, La Jolla, CA
- Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Ctr. Miami, FL
Online Second Opinions
If you need a second opinion but cannot travel, it is possible to seek a second opinion online. See here.
Worldwide GIST Treatment
You may wish to search PubMed directly for papers authored by physicians in your home country. To do this, follow these steps:
1) link to PubMed http://www.ncbi.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed
2) type GIST in the search box (Search PubMed for _GIST_____________)
3) click GO to the right of the search box
4) after a large number of entries appears, do the following…
5) go back to the search box and add “AND” plus the name of the country from which you wish to find authors, followed by these characters [AD]. For example, if you want to identify papers by Australian authors your search box would say:
____GIST AND Australia [AD] _______________
Note that AND must be entered in all capital letters.