Anybody been treated for prostate cancer at Las Vegas, NV Veterans Admin?

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Michael W
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/21/2011 5:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed 8 weeks ago with stage t2b and don't know what to do as far as treatment. My choices are limited to the VA as I have no private health insurance. Also, I have trust issues with the doctors there.
Any suggestions or comments would help.
Michael W

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 1/21/2011 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Michael, welcome to HW. I don't have any answers for you, but we got a few guys from Colorado, so they may have some info
James C. Age 63
Gonna Make Myself A Better Man
4/07: PSA 7.6, 7/07 Biopsy: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe, GS6
9/07: Nerve Sparing open RP, Path: pT2c, 110 gms., clear except:
Probable microscopic involvement-left apical margin -GS6
3 Years: PSA's .04 each test until 04/10-.06, 09/10-.09, 01/11-.09
ED-total-Bimix 30cc

Michael W
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/23/2011 6:41 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks for replying.
I'm looking for any advice on dealing with the Veterans Admin... or any kind of alternative when one does not have health insurance.
I have not felt right since my 11/24/10 biopsy which put me in the hospital for 4 days and 3 nights on an antibiotic drip IV for urinary tract infection.
I am made to feel by the chief urology doc there that I am asking too many questions about treatment and my PSA has doubled from 5.9 to 10.9 in less than two months, so I suppose I need to make a decision on treatment. One urologist says seeds plus pelvic radiation and the chief says RP or seeds or pelvic or wait and monitor and this was before my PSA doubled.
I am 61 years old, stage t2b 3 of 12 core samples positive. 56.5 gram organ weight.
Does anyone have experience going overseas for RP? I know India has some great docs.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 1/23/2011 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi MIchael,
Sorry to hear you have trust issues with the doctors at the VA.  This ordeal is difficult enough without those kind of issues.
You seem to be set on surgery as oppossed to radiation of some type.  Can you tell us what your gleason score is and what happened to create the doubts about your doctors?
That's a fast doubling time.  Maybe the issues with the doctors at the VA can be addressed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 1/23/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
James C. said...
Michael, welcome to HW. I don't have any answers for you, but we got a few guys from Colorado, so they may have some info

Unless I'm missing something here James I don't see how being from Colorado I'd have any information about the Las Vegas VA Hospital. Tony may be a better source.

I go to the VA just for a few cheaper prescriptions for I'm fortunate to have excellent insurance being a federal government retiree. What I hear about VA doctors and treatment is that it's a crap shoot. In one location it may result in excellent care while in another it can be atrocious. For example my nieces husband's father had a pacemaker installed that needed replacement.The VA in Cleveland Ohio took it out for like 3 weeks and when they were going to replace it finally his heart had degenerated so he was terminal and is now in a hospice awaiting the end. Meanwhile a friend of mine will swear how great his Washington state VA hospital was for his heart disease.
Diagnosed 11/08/07 - Age: 58 - 3 of 12 @5%
Psa: 2.3 - 3+3=6 - Size: 34g -T-2-A

2/22/08 - 3D Mapping Saturation Biopsy - 1 of 45 @2% - Psa:2.1 - 3+3=6 - 28g after taking Avodart - Catheter for 1 day -Good Candidate for TFT(Targeted Focal Therapy) Cryosurgery(Ice Balls) - Clinical Research Study

4/22/08 - TFT performed at University of Colorado Medical Center - Catheter for 4 days - Slight soreness for 2 weeks but afterward life returns as normal

7/30/08 - Psa: .32
11/10/08 - Psa.62 -
April 2009 12 of 12 Negative Biopsy

2/16/10 12 of 12 Negative Biopsy

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 1/23/2011 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Good to see you here... I posted this on Friday and had a couple responses. Click below and you'll see some comments:

Welcome to HealingWell. I think James C's post was in reference to a couple guys here from Colorado that are using the VA system. I know of a few others here as well. If you'll remember in our meeting last Thursday we had a couple guys there that were also a bit frustrated with the Las Vegas VA. One other new member had brachytherapy there 5 years ago and was in the midst of a relapse when the urological "genius" there was suggesting he have a radical prostatectomy. Absolutely a terrible recommendation from what I have learned in 4 years. He does have Medicare so he switched to my oncologist which was the right move. I know how frustrating it is when you have limited resources for insurance and you are getting the run around. Some of the guys here suggested going to the VA in the Los Angeles area as they do use some quality doctors from UCLA and such.

Also I have found a couple guys who decided to go their own way and pay for treatment out of pocket. One such gentleman on the PPML mailing list paid 18k for his surgery and he was able to do it in installments. This might be a great question for Dr. Tim Wilson from the City of Hope when he comes next month.

Again, welcome to HealingWell. I hope the good folks here will be a good service to you. They certainly have been that for me.

Advanced Prostate Cancer at age 44 (I am 48 now)
pT3b,N0,Mx (original PSA was 19.8) EPE, PM, SVI. Gleason 4+3=7

RALP ~ 2/17/2007 at the City of Hope near Los Angeles.
Adjuvant Radiation Therapy ~ IMRT Completed 8/07
Adjuvant Hormone Therapy ~ 28 months on Casodex and Lupron.

"I beat up this disease and took its lunch money! I am in remission."
I am currently not being treated, but I do have regular oncology visits.
I am the president of an UsTOO chapter in Las Vegas

Blog :

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 1/23/2011 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
VA treatment is so hit and miss, even within a single state. There isn't a single VA hospital here in South Carolina that I would send a sick gold fish to for treatment. There have been so many problems over the years I have lived here. Even the VA Outpatient Clinic in Greenville is plagued with excessive waits, delays, wrong prescriptions, missing prescriptions, etc.

Fortunately, for us vets here, you can go to Asheville, NC, about 75 miles, and the VA has a much better reputation. In general, even as a vet, I wouldn't want to go to any of them for a major operation, be scared for my life.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 1/24/2011 12:17 AM (GMT -6)   
There's an interesting conversation going on in this thread. Something about a toll free number for an advocate...and more

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