From public to private and back again?

edited November 2019 in Recurrence

Hi all,

Wondering if anyone has any experience of going from treatmeant at a public hospital (e.g. Peter Mac), then getting surgery done privately (to avoid longer wait times publically), then going back to public for ongoing treatment? Would the public doctors have a problem with this?

A bit of background: my mum was diagnosed with 3C OvC in June 2017, received carbo/taxol chemo and had debulking surgery (went from CA125 in the 3000s to single digits), then recurred with spots on the liver after only 5 months NED. Since recurring, she's had tamoxifen and then participated in a Durvalumab (immunotherapy) trial. On scans it appears that the cancer hasn't spread anywhere except for the liver, but there is a new spot on the liver so she has been kicked off the trial. Since it's been over a year with minimal spread they're willing to consider surgery to remove the liver spots, which mum is very keen to do. Everything in the public system seems to be going super slowly lately and she hasnt had any treatment since early June. They still haven't made a surgery date despite agreeing to it weeks ago, nor have they agreed to or put her on any alternative treatment in the interim.

We're super keen to get her some treatment asap, which is why we're investigating getting the surgery done privately. Just not sure if that will cause issues with her treatment at her private hospital down the line. If you've had experience with this kind of thing please let me know. Any experience of advice would be most welcome as we're getting pretty anxious to make a move. Thank you!


  • Hello, Ellen.

    I was diagnosed with 3C in March 2017. It was far quicker to go privately. Then I was treated with chemo later, in the public. Later, because I wanted to stay with a particular oncologist, I finished the chemo in the private area. It only meant I had to pay a bit to see her, and anyway, most was covered.

    I would suggest go private (because you don't want to wait around.) Might depend where you live.

    Good luck to your Mum and commiserations.


  • Hi Ellen,

    I was diagnosed in 1996 withe Stage IIIC. Over the years I have done both. there should be no problem at all best advice is to speak to your GP or make an appointment to see the oncologist and put forward to the Dr's what your proposing to do but I'm pretty sure there will be no problem.

    Best of luck to you both.

    Have a great day.


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