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Our first 2nd opinion

by on November 24, 2009

Satomi and I drove up to Santa Monica to meet with another well-regarded Oncologist, Dr. Linnea Chap at Premier Oncology.  We had originally intended to seek future guidance on treatment of Satomi’s spine.  Now that her spine is “not cancerous”, we changed our direction and asked for an overall review of our treatment plan and to discuss the most recent spine scans.

Dr. Chap is quite impressive.  Besides being a mother of 4, she is quite accomplished.  Here is an excerpt from their website:

“Linnea Chap, MD is a highly respected specialist in cancers affecting women.  She received her medical degree from the University of Chicago, completed her residency in internal medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and her fellowship in both Hematology and Medical Oncology at UCLA.  She joined the faculty at UCLA in 1995 serving most recently as Associate Professor of Medicine and co-director of the UCLA/Revlon Multidisciplinary Breast Center, overseeing the Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic. Dr. Chap has multiple publications to her credit and has led several breast and ovarian cancer treatment protocols, including the pioneering use of novel biologic agents such as Herceptin and Avastin…”

What I found most impressive was that, as a researcher, she could quote many statistics which appealed to the engineer in me.  She was also familiar with several of the studies that I had previously read so her statistics were basically the same as mine.  She inspired a lot of confidence.

We gave her a detailed medical history and a long story short, she supported our past care.  It was encouraging to know that Satomi had received “state-of-the-art” treatment.

Her opinion of the recent spinal scans was also enlightening.  Satomi’s had a history of osteopenia since age 35 (very young for low bone denisty).  As part of her treatment she used Zolodex (drug to supress estrogen production) which will directly effect bone density.  Tie these factors into her various forms of chemotherapy (almost all of which also supress estrogen production), the likelihood of serious osteopenia (and the subsequent compressions fractures in her spine) at age 42 is quite possible. 

She will have her Radiologists re-review the images but she expects that they will be again found as non-cancerous.

Dr. Chap recommended Zometa to be incorporated into Satomi’s future treatments to counter the osteopenia.  This recommendation was quite encouraging because Zometa was already recommended to us by our primary Oncologist a few weeks ago.

This information was well worth the long trek to Santa Monica.


[Update 11/30/09] 

We just received a call from Dr. Chap.  The Radiologists confirmed her opinion regarding Satomi’s spinal Osteopenia.  They do NOT consider the compression fractures to be an indication of cancer.

From → Medical Update

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