I had dinner tonight with a grateful prostate cancer patient who was able to take advantage of our Cyberknife to receive targeted radiation therapy. But what especially impressed him was the fact that he was able to meet with a medical oncologist, a urologist, and a radiation oncologist all at the same time to help him decide on his treatment plan.
Our approach is to help each man understand the nature of his disease and clearly present the relative value of treatment options -- open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, traditional radiation, radioactive seeds, Cyberknife, and watchful waiting -- in a direct, unbiased fashion.
Until tonight, I thought that every place did this, but apparently not. One of our urologists at the dinner told me the story of a friend of his in New York who had been diagnosed and was wondering where to go and what to do. He advised his friend that there were lots of good hospitals and doctors there, and the key was to find a place that offered an interdisciplinary team. His friends searched and searched but was unable to find a place that offered this kind of team. Well, one place offered a team, but did not offer the full range of treatment options.
Now, maybe his friend did not do a full survey or missed some program, but he was clearly an informed consumer, and he could not get what he needed. I'm curious to see if this is typical of other people's experience. Please comment here.