Sloane Kettering or MD a Anderson?

Sloane Kettering or MD a Anderson?

My family and I are under the gun to decide whether we are flying to MD Anderson or Sloane Kettering in NYC for my mom's first debulking surgery (age 80, stage 4, diagnosed May 4). While I was staying in the hospital with mom during her two week admission for ostomy surgery, atrial fibrillation of the heart, chemo and a port placement dad found appointments with a couple doctors. One is Dr. Charles Levenback at MD Anderson, and the other one is Dr. Dennis Chi at Sloane Kettering.

If Chi is only surgery as some are saying who is good at Sloane for chemo?

(We are currently in Hawaii but not pleased with the options here. She has a home in CA but we are not huge fans, for the surgery, of UCSF or Stanford... perhaps chemo after and follow up there. We are a family of 3 and can travel together, so she'll have support. We can afford accommodation.)

Dr. Charles Levenback at MD


Dr. Dennis Chi at Sloane Kettering

My folks are drawn to going to MD Anderson because New York is expensive and loud etc., less far away. I am concerned about the fact that Chi seems to have made his main focus the surgery and it's aspects and Levenback's title is "Chief Quality Officer" which is an administrative position, and his studies are not really that clearly surgery focused.

I am not sure if there would have been someone better suited at Anderson.

Does anyone have any feedback? Thank you.

8 Replies

  • Christalives, I strongly recommend that you check out Dr. Daniel J Veljovich at Pacific Gynecology Specialists in Seattle, Washington. I was referred to him by an ER Doc at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA, who told me "He's the surgical oncologist we all send our wives, daughters, sisters and mothers to." He's a doc's doc and operates on cases that other people would not touch. The day I was scheduled for an ostomy take down he spent approx 9 hours debulking an 86 year old woman, the mother of a Portland, Oregon doc who had flown her to Seattle for the operation and treatment by Veljovich. Please read my profile for details of my own experience. Plus, Seattle is a gorgeous place!

  • My Dr Amy Hakim is at Desert oncology gyno surgeon, she's awesome. She does surgery out of Desert Reg medical center and City of Hope, in Duarte, CA. She totally saved my life, I have stage 3c clear cell ovarian cancer. Removed a 2 pound mass, which was attached to colon and appendix. Complete debulking and did chemo in her office at a chemotherapy area then when I healed more I started stomach wash chemo at city of Hope Duarte CA. I commuted back and forth. But 3 years later I'm still here. Best wishes

  • My family has experience with both cancer centers and both are excellent. At Sloan they pair a gyn/onc who does the surgery with a medical oncologist who specializes in the various forms of treatments for gynecologic cancers. That leaves the surgeon to focus on the nuances of surgery and the medical onc focuses on keeping up with all the advances in chemotherapies, immunotherapies, and targeted therapies as they relate to our disease.

    At MD Anderson everyone has a laporoscopy surgery to determine if they are late stage or not, and then if they are late stage they currently gets chemo first before the actual debulking surgery to try to shrink the tumors. That isn't a standard protocol used by everyone.

    Wherever you go, make sure to contact the facility and ask about local accomodations. I know there are some places with reduced rates in NYC for people who have relatives at Sloan. I think Houston also has something like that.

    Best wishes,


  • In my opinion (I have ovarian cancer for the 4th time at 37) getting treatment (surgery, Chemo, etc.) quickly (ASAP) and making it easiest and most comfortable on her should be the priority. Research backs up my opinion with cases getting more complicated as days pass. I personally had a great experience at MD Anderson (I went there because I have rare low grade tumors which they study) but I also have at Duke, U of Michigan and others as well based on where I've lived. Sloan is great of course too. I know this sounds harsh to people new to this, but quality of life is really important as a patient (often more than quantity) so make sure she gets to decide things that will make her comfortable. This might make being close to her home most important to her. We're very lucky to have many amazing Gyn Oncs all across the US! Wishing you the very best!

  • Hi Mimanda, you said you have rare low grade tumors. Can I ask what type of Ovarian cancer you have and the stage? I was diagnosed with Endometroid ovarian cancer. Very low grade and well differentiated cells. I can't find others with the same diagnosis. I guess it is rare.

  • I've been 2B twice, then 3C the past 2 times and my tumors are low grade. So basically multiple surgeries and took forever to find any drug that worked but overall tumors grow slowly.

  • What about City of Hope in Duarte California. I have heard wonderful things their facility and they are in the papers and magazines often

  • I had all my chemo there. They are very good. I still see the endocrinologist there. I did stomach. Wash chemotherapy there. Dr M.Christea worked in conjunction with my Surgeon Dr A Hakim. Together they did my chemo juice and decided what was best. They are very good there and nice.

You may also like...