Medical Center Ads -- Buyer Beware

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geezer99
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 12/19/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
An article in this morning's New York Times (Saturday) explains that hospitals can and do run ads which make unsupported medical claims. Drug companies or device manufacturers may not run such ads without scientific documentation.

www.nytimes.com/2009/12/19/health/19cancerads.html?_r=1&hp

This article particularly deals with cancer treatment -- don't be mislead by "puffery"
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan, Bone scan 1/09 both negative.

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Out 03/08/09
Pathology: Lymph nodes & Seminal vesicles negative
Margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4+3=7
6 weeks: 1 pad/day, 1 pad/night -- mostly dry at night.
10 weeks: no pad at night -- slight leakage day/1 pad.
3 mo. PSA 0.0 - now light pads
6 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day


O Buddy Boy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 12/19/2009 9:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey gezzer,

It appears the ads go beyond puffery and make claims based on some very specious grounds.

What I found particularly interesting was this paragraph and the implication it has for PCa patients,

"People with some more complicated cancers or rarer diseases like leukemia do tend to fare better at comprehensive cancer centers. But Dr. Welch and others worry that such ads could persuade people with localized cases of more common diseases like prostate cancer to travel long distances from their families at great expense to obtain treatment that may be as successful, or unsuccessful, as the treatment available much closer to home."

OBB
55 yo
Dx:9/29/09
DRE: Susp
PSA: 3.5
Gleason: 3+4/7
6/12 Cores Positive; Sextants were 1%, 3%, 8%, 15%, 12%, 0%
RALP: 10/09/09
PATH:
Margins: Clear
Lymph Nodes: Clear
Seminal Vesicles: Clear
Gleason: No increase from biopsy 3+4/7
Some perineural and capsule invasion.
T2c,NO,MX
Incontinence: Minor. 1 light pad a day. Some days don't need it.
ED: Natural with encouragement. 20mg Cialis and pump just makes things more fun.


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 12/19/2009 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Common sense should tell most readers of that, that is is pure BS and just a self promoting piece. If they are going to print and distribute that level of propaganda, then they should have to make written valid warranty/guarantees of what they claim. Let them put their money where their mouth is.

When my wife/I was on vacation in Fla this past spring, I was shocked by the expenisve hi-tech billboards everywhere competing for different medical centers and treatment centers, even to blatanlty "trashing" the competitions own ads.

Scary

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA:
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 in place


Zen9
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 12/19/2009 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I discussed in some detail in an earlier post the battle for cancer patients that is going on here in Houston, where we have the second largest medical center in the world (the largest is outside of Moscow). There is big money involved, both in terms of investments and in terms of potential revenues.

Zen9
No family history of PC.  PSA reading in 2000 was around 3.0 .  Annual PSA readings gradually rose; no one said anything to me until my PSA reached 4.0 in September 2007, at which point my internist advised me to see a urologist.   
Urologist advised a repeat PSA reading in six months = 4.0 .  Diagnosed May 2008 at age 56 as a result of 12 core biopsy.  Biopsy report by Bostwick Laboratories = Gleason 3 + 3. 
Interviewed two urologists - the one who did the biopsy and another - the latter had the biopsy slides re-examined = Gleason 3 + 3. 
Then went to M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in July 2008 and met with a urologist and a radiologist.  Biopsy slides re-examined yet again, this time by MDA's internal pathology department = Gleason 3 + 4.   
Chose da Vinci surgery over proton beam therapy; surgery performed at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center on August 15, 2008.  Post-operative pathology report = four tumors, carcinoma contained in prostate, clean (negative) margins, lymph nodes clear, seminal vesicles clear.  Gleason = 4 + 3. 
Minor temporary incontinence; current extent of ED uncertain due to lack of sexual partner; refused treatments for ED as being pointless under the circumstances. 
PSA readings: 
November 2008 = <0.1 ["undetectable"]
June 2009 = <0.1   
December 2009 = <0.1
 


goodlife
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 12/19/2009 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I sure hope those ads that allow me to make my p**is longer are the truth. After the surgery i have been taking double doses along with the kegels.

Haven't seen too much progress yet, but I already ordered an extension for my VED.

I think the saying goes, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

I know we are somwhat vulnerable in our damaged physical and psychological conditions, but our common sense wasn't in our walnuts.

Goodlife
Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injections


BillyMac
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 12/19/2009 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
As an outsider I can't get my head around this medical advertising and touting for business, either by doctors or hospitals. It is not something we see in Australia. We operate a somewhat duel system with public and private hospitals but the largest and often the finest are the public hospitals. Many of these public hospitals, such as RPA in Sydney, and the care within them, are on a par with the best in the world. All accident and emergency cases go to public hospitals. Medical advertising, other than a facilities' web site, is an absolute no-no.
Bill

mikey1955
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 12/19/2009 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Bill,

As an outsider, too...there are almost no medical ads for hospitals/doctors up here except some very limited stuff for places like Shouldice Clinic that is private and does hernias and a few others...except for some fundraising. There are other private clinics that specialize, but ads are limited.

If you want HIFU, a hair transplant or laser eye surgery, there are ads for those. Not commenting on any of these...just an observation.

I believe our best are also the public ones. They don't compete with each other, they openly compare notes. I'm sure that comment won't sit well with many, but that is what we have here. I believe I've done well, so far.

JMHO Mike


-Nov/Dec 07, March 08 and Dec 08: Severe perineum pain . Septra/Bactrim for 8 months for diagnosed prostatitis.
-PSA start of 2008: 5.3..... PSA June of 2008: 7.3
-14 DRE all benign or nothing felt
-TRUS Biopsy Nov 08: 5 of 8 cores positive GS 3+3 or 6. 30-65%. Perineural invasion.
-General Health: pretty good, 5' 10", 180 lbs, slim.
-Open RP surgery: May 09 both nerve bundles spared. Bilateral lymph node dissection performed. Discharged 48 hours after surgery.
-Post Surgery Pathology: pT3a N0 MX, extraprostatic extension (EPE), stage III prostate cancer, lymph nodes clear, seminal vesicles clear, Gleason upraded to 3+4 GS 7. EPE within surgical margins. Other than prostate and EPE, all tissue removed negative for cancer involvement.

Post Edited (mikey1955) : 12/19/2009 8:30:47 PM (GMT-7)


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 12/19/2009 11:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Mike, I think you have done incredibly well, and I think your choices and level in care in Canada have been excelent. Most of the critic's of your system up there seldom have their facts right.
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA:
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 in place


mikey1955
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 12/20/2009 12:35 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks David,

The idea of publically funded health-care is a divisive issue for many. I can only tell you of my experience.

I could have chosen almost any hospital/doctor here for my procedure. The drawback would have been some time and I would probably have had to cover some, if not all, travel expenses.  After a good deal of research on treatment options, I found a surgeon. So, I chose him and the hospital he provides services in. It was also close to where I live.

I looked into all options I could. I even looked into proton at Loma Linda. I probably would have had to sell my house to do it until I could convince appropriate authorities here to re-imburse, but I was probably not a good candidate even in my own mind (also, just a small biz owner with insignificant extended health coverage). I had fairly high content and # of hits. My biggest concern was how do I know they got all what I got? Post surgery pathology was the best bet to answer that question for me, and that's why I chose surgery. Unless I'm wrong, I doubt the best imaging in the world would have found the unifocal, EPE I had on post-op pathology.

It ended up that after looking just about everywhere, I chose treatment that was close to home and covered by my tax dollars. So far, I've done well.

 

 


-Nov/Dec 07, March 08 and Dec 08: Severe perineum pain . Septra/Bactrim for 8 months for diagnosed prostatitis.
-PSA start of 2008: 5.3..... PSA June of 2008: 7.3
-14 DRE all benign or nothing felt
-TRUS Biopsy Nov 08: 5 of 8 cores positive GS 3+3 or 6. 30-65%. Perineural invasion.
-General Health: pretty good, 5' 10", 180 lbs, slim.
-Open RP surgery: May 09 both nerve bundles spared. Bilateral lymph node dissection performed. Discharged 48 hours after surgery.
-Post Surgery Pathology: pT3a N0 MX, extraprostatic extension (EPE), stage III prostate cancer, lymph nodes clear, seminal vesicles clear, Gleason upraded to 3+4 GS 7. EPE within surgical margins. Other than prostate and EPE, all tissue removed negative for cancer involvement.


Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 12/20/2009 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I started a thread a while back about TV ads from Cancer Centers of America...
 
They show people saying things like: "My last doctor told me to start getting my affairs in order. CCA changed all of that."
 
You're left with the impression that either the person will now all of sudden live a long life or that CCA will get their affairs in order for them????
 
And Yes many people here have had great success with CCA...but I don't like their adsnono
Age 54   - 5'11"   205lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6 
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
05/14/09  - 4th Quarter PSA -> less then .01
11/20/09 - 18 Month PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.

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