Monday, 10 November 2014

Which treatment, which hospital and which specialist? Crucial choices...

I was prompted by my good friend Sue to write, after she posted this article on Facebook. 

Have a read and if you ever have to make that choice, make it a good one…

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, then which treatment do you opt for, which hospital do you go to, and crucially, which surgeon do you allow to perform this delicate operation?

So your hospital has a state of the art Da Vinci Robot…So what? That's like saying, "He's an excellent driver, he owns a Ferrari!" How many times have the team (because it is a team) used this machine? What is their reputation like? Have you asked on the Prostate Cancer Forums what men being treated at the hospital feel about their experience?

My surgeon, Nimish Shah and his team had been to the USA to observe surgical teams there. They then bought their first Da Vinci Robot at Addenbrookes, but specialists from the USA came over to train them and stayed with them to observe their surgical techniques. Nimish Shah had completed hundreds of successful operations before he started on me. I see men all the time on the forums that trusted to surgeons in local hospitals, not even prostate specialists, and they are still suffering incontinence.

From the time you are diagnosed until the time you have treatment there is usually plenty of time to decide. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, don't get swept up in the moment, just because the doctor doing your biopsy immediately refers you to the local hospital. Say, "Hang on, I have options here, I can choose my treatment, my hospital and my specialist. I'll get back to you."

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