Purgatory, you are not alone...

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3596
   Posted 6/7/2011 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   
While looking through another board, I came across this horrifying thread...You would think things like this would be impossible...

Age 68.
PSA age 55: 3.5, DRE normal.
age 58: 4.5
61: 5.2
64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
65: 8.5, " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
66 9.0 "normal", 2ed biopsy, negative, BPH, Proscar
67 4.5 DRE "normal"
68 7.0 3rd biopsy positive, 4 out of 12, G-6,7, 9
RALP Sept 3 2010, pos margin, one pos vesicle nodes neg. Post Op PSA 0.9 SRT, HT. 2-15-'11 PSA 0.0

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6858
   Posted 6/7/2011 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
At the same time I was evaluating IGRT, there were several articles I found on similar errors at a hospital in NYC. They had a set of filters that had to be inserted in the RT equipment, and the tech was doing it wrong. There was a long stream of interviews with the patient and family about the very ugly results.
It gave me a lot to think about before pulling the trigger on RT.
DaVinci 10/2009
My adjuvant IGRT journey (2010) -

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 6/7/2011 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
This is why I spent 4 hours a day traveleing to Brigam/Womans Hospital in Boston rather that stopping off every morning on my way to work at the local radiation facility. They have have done a great job, but they don't see anywhere near the number of patients as BW.
Dx Dec 2008 at 56, PSA 3.4
Biopsy: T1c, Geason 7 (3+4)
Robotic RP March 2009
Path Report: T2c, G8, organ confined, neg margins, lymph nodes - tumor vol 9%
PSA's < .01, .01, .07, .28, .50. ADT 3 5/10. IMRT 7/10.
PSA's post HT/SRT .01, < .01
End ADT3 5/11 PSA < .01

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6858
   Posted 6/7/2011 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
It may seem counter-intuitive, but I chose a location that did a much lower volume, and with a small staff.
I felt like the rush of lots of patients would add to the chaos potential, and that seeing potentially different techs every day would lessen their attention level.
Mind you that the focus of the clinic I chose is prostate cancer, although they do other treatments as well. And yes, if the folks were less than competent, it could cause troubles down the road.
In reading the articles on the NYC (big name hospital), it seemed clear that the big issue there was the volume - the errors were made by a poorly trained tech when he was on duty (not every day), as he supposedly did not remember he was supposed to change the filters that limited the radiation between patients. I will say I was VERY attentive of what they did each day.
This goes back to a comment some months ago about how "anal" the RT staff was at a member's RT clinic - that, in my mind, is one of the marks of a process being applied correctly.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7187
   Posted 6/7/2011 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I hate to read something like this. I am not surprised that it happened, but it is nice to see them actually own up to it!

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25355
   Posted 6/7/2011 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I have tried to warn folks for years, even away from HW, that radiation can be a b***h. The radiation clinics do their share of overselling the treatments and underselling the side effects. I speak this from much first hand experience. In my research over the years, some of the worse cases of death and damage were done at big name clinics, not the smaller local ones. Bigger is not always better. I would rather be a known name to a doctor then just another patient passing through. Even with my Uro's visit yesterday, I love how he can rattle off all my PSA numbers accuratelly from memory, not looking at notes or a computer, my GP is the same way. It takes a while (and in my case) a lot of visits with a doctor for him/her to really understand what makes you tick and how your body will react to treatments and meds. Just my opinion.

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 margin
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, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
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 9/10
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