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MD Anderson Presents Patient Power - July 15, 2008

More from Patient Power host Andrew Schorr on the Kidney Cancer Treatment show.

There is a lot to be said about subspecialists when it comes to finding the right doctor to treat your cancer. Certainly that is true when it comes to kidney cancer. Dr. Christopher Wood is a urologist at MD Anderson who specializes in kidney cancer. That specialized knowledge saves lives, as it has in the case of Mr. William (“Bill”) Bill from Spring, Texas, the guest of our recent webcast on the topic. Bill is living well these days, two years post surger, and this summer he gets to see his son get married.

Bill’s cancer showed up as back pain that didn’t go away. Other people have discovered it by accident when there is an imaging test. Smoking can increase your risk, and the diabetes and hypertension epidemic in the U.S. doesn’t help. There are about 36,000 people diagnosed in America each year and 12,000 – 15,000 deaths. The average urologist sees, at most, six cases of kidney tumors a year. At MD Anderson they see 700 cases.

That’s an “aha” for me, once again. Go where the team is experienced. As you can see from the undesirable death rate, there is still a long way to go. I always tell people to give themselves the best shot, where they have the most experience, as in the case of MD Anderson with kidney cancer.

If you have kidney cancer, I urge you to listen to this program, and pay a visit to Dr. Wood. Also, listen to the commercial during the webcast with Hugo Robledo, a wonderful-sounding kidney cancer survivor who has MD Anderson to thank for his “life…to be continued.”

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