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Rural surgeon vs city surgeon

RachelvillRachelvill Member Posts: 4
edited December 2019 in Newly diagnosed
Hi ,Newly diaganosis   Friday the 13th DCIS, very scared and anxious, what’s people’s thoughts on surgeons in rural areas or should I go to Sydney , from western NSW 


  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,122
    Hi @Rachelvill

    So Sorry to see you here - but we will do our best to help allay your fears & give you tips & advice if & when needed  xxx   You can do this.  I was in your shoes 2 years ago - tho my diagnosis wasn't confirmed til Jan 5th .....  Put up any questions that you can think of!!  xx

    Yes, I can well remember my fears & it is all totally normal & to be expected - However, I was amazed at how everything felt 'so much better' after my surgery was done - and I was lucky enough to have a lumpectomy & no massive scarring, then radiation & tablets.  Once you've had your surgery & received your pathology - your immediate plan for the next 6 months will become very clear.

    I am also rural, being mid north coast .... and my GP immediately  gave me the names of 2 surgeons in Sydney.  I also had close family in Sydney as well, so was able to convalesce with them for a few days after the surgery, whereas I had no family 'at home' other than my husband (who has mod/severe dementia.)  So the break in Sydney staying with my brother & wife was invaluable to me - plus I had the followup appt with my surgeon the week after as well.  We stay with them most times we go down, staying with another brother as well at other times.

    If you put your town name in your 'profile', we may have members there who can let you know of services already available in your town - or already be familiar with surgeons in or near the town.

    You may have excellent surgeons in your home town - have you been given the name of a Breast Cancer Nurse in your area yet?  They may be able to guide you in that area as well.  Go here & see who is closest to your town
    (this is just a photo of where some McGrath Breast Care Nurses are in NSW)

    All the best xxx take care xxx
  • RachelvillRachelvill Member Posts: 4
    Thankyou so much , I live around the rural town of Dubbo , so about 5 hrs from Sydney , have a family so have to think of them, have been in touch with breast cancer nurse 
    I have  been reading the comments all day , comforting some what but scary 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,122
    Yep, Scary is totally normal - you'll be angry sometimes, get emotional & teary at other times -  all totally normal.  Let it out.  How old are your kids?   Having family around you is very important, to give you emotional & physical support. 

    Do you have someone to go to your appointments with?  My sister in law was brilliant - as a 2nd set of ears, asking pertinent questions that I'd forgotten to ask!  I also recorded a lot of my early appts on my phone, as it is very difficult to take in a lot of what is said ..... 

    Until you have your surgery, my best advice is to just keep yourself as busy as you can, doing what you love!  That also may entail cooking up some meals that you can freeze, so that you have them 'on hand'  when you are out of hospital!   And if ANYONE says they'll 'do meals for you' - just nod and say "that would be terrific''!!  It is a win win - they feel better & it takes a load off you as well.  

    Try NOT to use Dr Google for any of your treatment - a lot of stuff is SO out of date - and everyone's case is SO DIFFERENT .... rely on your medical team.  xx

    take care . xx
  • KattykitKattykit Member Posts: 252
    Hi @Rachelvill I had all my treatment at Dubbo Base hospital and couldnt fault my care and the breast care nurses were wonderful, I travelled from Coonabarabran for my treatment and stayed overnight in free accommodation on the hospital grounds. 
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Smithton Tas was Bathurst nsw Member Posts: 3,405
    Are you out that way ? 

  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 1,483
    Dear @Rachelvill and @SoldierCrab
    Yes I do live near Dubbo. Rachelvill, it sounds like you are right at the beginning, and perhaps don't know what treatment will be recommended yet; but here is my Dubbo story in case it is helpful to you.
    In May 2017 I was diagnosed with BC. I do have private health insurance, and was connected with Dr Dean Fisher, highly regarded surgeon who operates at Dubbo Private Hospital. Not sure if Dr Fisher operates at Dubbo Base. I had a lumpectomy at Dubbo Private - couldn't fault any treatment from Dr Fisher or hospital staff. 
    The two breast care nurses based at Dubbo Community Health are wonderful for support, advocating for you, information, and liaising with other players.
    The Alan Coates Cancer Centre at Dubbo Base provides chemotherapy if needed and GP service for cancer patients. Again the staff here are wonderful. I was able to drive to and from chemo.
    I did have to go to Orange Base Hospital for radiotherapy, as this treatment is not available in Dubbo yet. I stayed at the Cancer Care Lodge on Orange Hospital grounds. This was a wonderful home away from home.
    The chemo and radiotherapy were part of the public health system - no charge!! Which was wonderful because my job finished when I was diagnosed LOL.
    Ongoing followup support at the Alan Coates Cancer Centre has been very good.
    So here I am two and a half years later doing well. For me, Dubbo based services were the right choice for professional treatment and support, family,  and cost reasons. Hope  to hear from you soon. Best wishes from @jennyss in Western NSW.

  • RachelvillRachelvill Member Posts: 4
    Thankyou I’m just at the beginning yes , having to pick a surgeon and meeting with them , just hoping public system is ok . 
    Thankyou @jennyss for your story , it’s good to hear about Orange as I have been told I do need radiation . I live near Dubbo so travelling it is , I have a family so hoping it wouldn’t impact them too much , they are 16 and 18 . 
    How long did you have to wait till surgery ? 
  • TrishMLDBTrishMLDB Member Posts: 26
    Sorry you are here and going through this, though you are in the right place to ask questions.
    I agree with everything @jennyss said my story is similar. I live on outskirts of Dubbo.
    I was diagnosed 2012 , only having been in Dubbo for 6 months. I went to a Sydney Oncology Surgeon my Husband had seen for cancer too. My children were 5yr old at the time and my family were all in Sydney to help care for them while I had my surgery.
    Many of my friends have seen Dr Fisher for breast cancer surgery and he is excellent . I saw him for a melanoma removal too. He is highly recommended by my Sydney surgeon as well.
    It is all coordinated care and it's exceptional at Alan Coates. Though you can be sent to other areas of your choice for Radiation - a friend went recently to Lismore instead of Orange - because her family support was there.
    The Breast care nurses are fabulous and they liase and run our local Cancer support groups.
    Speak to your Drs as this time of year many Drs are going on leave as operating theatres have reduced lists and staffing.
    Dr Fisher does operate at the base. 
    The Cancer council has wonderful resources available online and the Cancer care centre too 
    All the very best .Hope  to hear from you soon. Best wishes from TrishMLDB 
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 1,483
    Dear @Rachelvill , Great info from @TrishMLDB, especially that Dr Fisher does operate At Dubbo Base. I was diagnosed in May, not a holiday period. For me, from first biopsy and pathology; it was three weeks to lumpectomy. Let us know your dates/timeline/treatment plan  when you get more info.
  • RachelvillRachelvill Member Posts: 4
    so had my surgery days before Christmas and all went well , haven’t got results yet because of all the public holidays so just waiting . Then again wait for radiation , just been reading stories on here  and very apprehensive. 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,122
    Well done @Rachelvill - just concentrate on recovering from the surgery just now .....

    There is No need to worry about the radiation - as your scars need to heal before they will start radiation anyway - so it could be 4 weeks or so from your surgery date.  And to be honest, most find that radiation isn't as bad WE imagine it to be - so try not to 'over think it' (or think that it will be horrible) - cos there is every chance that you will sail thru it!!     ;)  

    take care, look after yourself & all the best for your results xx

  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 1,483
    Dear @Rachelvill, Great you got your surgery over and all  went well.  Happy New Year and  best wishes for your treatment in 2020.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,309
    edited January 2020
    Using a local surgeon in regional areas for some surgeries makes perfect sense but, from someone who had to travel for the surgery I wanted, they do not always have the facilities to offer you the full range of options.
    If you think you will want/need any reconstructive surgery it is wise to interview practitioners who can provide those services. It's a pain in the butt, however these are things that need to be considered.

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