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Second opinion (online) from Dana Farber Center

Forums General Melanoma Community Second opinion (online) from Dana Farber Center

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      I'm curious about the Dana Farber Online Second Opinion Program. They would look at all my records and answer questions without me having to go there for an appointment. Has anyone here done same with DF or another facility? If so, how was your experience? Thanks.


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          Hi Lisa!!! 

          I read about that program when my son was diagnosed Stage 3a in February 2018….I discussed a second opinion with our oncology team and they actually sent us to Boston Mass General and we saw Dr. Flaherty. We did travel there from Buffalo…it was a quick day trip for us…I’m so glad we went though. Dr. Flaherty was amazing and definitely made me feel confident we were on the right path with treatment.  A second opinion never hurts, even if it’s only for your piece of mind.  Good luck!!!! 

          Kelly 🙂 

          Hi Lisa,

          I'm currently being treated at Dana Farber after getting a second opinion from them however I didn't go through the online program so can't comment on it.  I can only tell you that my experience there has been very good.  The Dr's are amazing, the nursing staff is amazing.  When i'm there it's like I'm the only patient that matters.  They treat everyone this way.  I'm located near Boston so it was a no brainer for me.  

          I agree with the previous post that a second opinion never hurts.  There are many patients who travel to DFCI for treatment.  I've met folks who do a 4 hour drive from the west and others who fly up from North Carolina and Virginia.  There are also folks who come down from VT and ME and CT.

          Good wishes to you whatever you choose.



              Jennifer, thanks very much for your reply. I've heard great things from DFCI patients. Appreciate your good wishes.



                I'm one of the people who drive in from Connecticut to go to DFCI. Like Jennifer, I used them for an in-person second opinion and after some hemming an hawing, chose them for my treatment and care. I wish that my experience with them so far was as smooth as hers. It's early, but we've had some bumps. On a previous visit we were scheduled to meet with a radiation oncologist to discuss treatment of my brain met. When appointment time came around, the radiation oncologist called me to tell me that she doesn't do brain mets. That snafu not only wasted several hours that afternoon but delayed my treatment by about a week. Then this week when we did meet with the right radiation oncologist, while reviewing my scans, the doctor noted that the radiologist who read the scan wrote in the report that the images were not significantly different. Well, even we could see that the met had grown about 25% in between scans. If someone just went by the radiologist's notes, they would get a very wrong idea about what is going on in my head.

                This is not meant to bash DFCI. I have no doubt that they are very good at what they do. The doctors (most of them) do seem very knowledgable and the nurses are very good. Understand that they are very big, and as with any large institution, things can happen. I wish that I felt more like a patient than a number at DFCI, but I won't care if they can keep this damn cancer at bay. Wherever you go, you or your medical proxy will have to be your own advocate and you should keep meticulous records, ask questions, and speak up when something doesn't sound right.

                Good luck and keep us posted!


                I'm sorry to hear that things at DFCI aren't going smoothly for you.  I am a very type A personality and thus ask a lot of questions and asked to have neurology consults when I first got diagnosed.  I've also been very lucky and have a great team.  I see Dr. Aizer for radiation oncology, Dr. Nayak for medical neurology, and Dr. Timothy Smith for neurosurgery.  Dr Aizer specializes in the brain and is out of Brigham and Women's and so I walk over to see him.  I also see Dr. Buchbinder and think very highly of her and the team.  I tend to speak up if I've been waiting for more than 30 minutes but that has only happened once due to another patient having a medical emergency and needing more immediate care.  I might just be a pain in the butt and so they get me out quickly.

                I hope your experience with them gets better.  It sounds like they didn't refer you to the correct specialist and didn't really messed up your reading your scan.  Glad the correct doctor caught the mistake.  Will they also correct the radiologist's notes so your chart is accurate?  

                Good wishes to you,


                Sorry – typo.  It should read "It sounds like they didn't refer you to the correct specialist and really messed up reading your scan."  I really need an edit button. 

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