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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer (Read 528 times)
burnsred
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March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Oct 1st, 2017 at 10:31pm
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Not telling you that to get sympathy.  I got outstanding medical treatment.  Chemo, radiation and surgery combined and I am cancer free.  I'm just getting scans every six months for five  years after the surgery.

Just saying because I want to share my experiences with the U.S. health system and I don't want to explain it every time.

First of all it was caught just in time. It was at stage II which meant that the tumor was not just on the wall of my esophagus, but had gone through the wall and was just about to spread to the nearest organ.  That would be the aorta.  They were able to take out a lot of my esophagus and stomach, but you kinda need your aorta so it would have just been a matter of time and not much of it if it hadn't been caught.

It was caught in time because my primary care physician sent me for an immediate colonoscopy and endoscopy when a blood test showed anemia.  She correctly diagnosed loss of blood through my gastrointestinal system.  Sure enough it was a gummi worm sized tumor about four inches long.  The gastroenterologist made an appointment while I was still under for a CT scan the next morning. 

For those who are concerned about such labels, the PCP who save my life is young, Black and female, the Oncologist who saved my life by correctly determining that I could stand up to aggressive chemo and radiation is 75 years old and had attended a medical school with no Blacks in his class.  The hospital pharmacist who mixed the chemo is half Jewish and half Asian and by a really crazy coincidence is a good friend of my brother.  The surgeon who reached into my body and pulled the cancer out is Asian.  Gotta love the U.S. of A!

BTW, if I were Canadian when this happened, I would have waited months to see the gastroenterologist and more months to get the scans.  By that time, the cancer would have been inoperable and I would be undergoing round after round of chemo and radiation or "palliative care" which means keeping me comfortable until the end.

No wonder Canadians escape to "America" for treatment.   
  
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Don_G
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #1 - Oct 1st, 2017 at 10:49pm
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burnsred wrote on Oct 1st, 2017 at 10:31pm:
Not telling you that to get sympathy.  I got outstanding medical treatment.  Chemo, radiation and surgery combined and I am cancer free.  I'm just getting scans every six months for five  years after the surgery.

Just saying because I want to share my experiences with the U.S. health system and I don't want to explain it every time.

First of all it was caught just in time. It was at stage II which meant that the tumor was not just on the wall of my esophagus, but had gone through the wall and was just about to spread to the nearest organ.  That would be the aorta.  They were able to take out a lot of my esophagus and stomach, but you kinda need your aorta so it would have just been a matter of time and not much of it if it hadn't been caught.

It was caught in time because my primary care physician sent me for an immediate colonoscopy and endoscopy when a blood test showed anemia.  She correctly diagnosed loss of blood through my gastrointestinal system.  Sure enough it was a gummi worm sized tumor about four inches long.  The gastroenterologist made an appointment while I was still under for a CT scan the next morning. 

For those who are concerned about such labels, the PCP who save my life is young, Black and female, the Oncologist who saved my life by correctly determining that I could stand up to aggressive chemo and radiation is 75 years old and had attended a medical school with no Blacks in his class.  The hospital pharmacist who mixed the chemo is half Jewish and half Asian and by a really crazy coincidence is a good friend of my brother.  The surgeon who reached into my body and pulled the cancer out is Asian.  Gotta love the U.S. of A!

BTW, if I were Canadian when this happened, I would have waited months to see the gastroenterologist and more months to get the scans.  By that time, the cancer would have been inoperable and I would be undergoing round after round of chemo and radiation or "palliative care" which means keeping me comfortable until the end.

No wonder Canadians escape to "America" for treatment.   
First of all, nice to see that you're better and doing fine!
Second, I find it unusual that you mention so many different ethnicities, skin colours, etc. It's strange because in Canada we are sort of colour blind to that sort of thing. It just wouldn't be worth the story to tell about being helped by Chinese, Asians, blacks or others distinctive from white people. They're just people period.
And thirdly, the statistics show that you would have liely been fine in Canada too because our medical outsome statistics are better than yours, not worse.
  
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burnsred
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #2 - Oct 1st, 2017 at 11:10pm
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First of all, nice to see that you're better and doing fine!
Thanks, Don!

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Second, I find it unusual that you mention so many different ethnicities, skin colours, etc. It's strange because in Canada we are sort of colour blind to that sort of thing. It just wouldn't be worth the story to tell about being helped by Chinese, Asians, blacks or others distinctive from white people. They're just people period.
In Canada, the are mainly white people so it's not hard to be "color blind."

But you have a point.  Sarcastically listing the races of people is something I would do on the politics board I keep recommending to you.  It's appropriate there because the liberals constantly obsess about race.  You're the only one on this forum that does that so I apologize to all others who read that irrelevant paragraph.


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And thirdly, the statistics show that you would have liely been fine in Canada too because our medical outsome statistics are better than yours, not worse.
As I said, my cancer was only a short time away from being inoperable.  Months of delay would have killed me, that's a fact.  Canada's wait times are a scandal even in the rest of the socialized medicine world:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/06/13/if-universal-health-care-i...

So, while my untimely death would have been a mere blip in Canada's statistics, it would have been a good anecdotal story for opponents of Canadianizing the U.S.


  
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Don_G
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #3 - Oct 1st, 2017 at 11:21pm
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burnsred wrote on Oct 1st, 2017 at 11:10pm:
Thanks, Don!

In Canada, the are mainly white people so it's not hard to be "color blind."

But you have a point.  Sarcastically listing the races of people is something I would do on the politics board I keep recommending to you.  It's appropriate there because the liberals constantly obsess about race.  You're the only one on this forum that does that so I apologize to all others who read that irrelevant paragraph.


As I said, my cancer was only a short time away from being inoperable.  Months of delay would have killed me, that's a fact.  Canada's wait times are a scandal even in the rest of the socialized medicine world:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/06/13/if-universal-health-care-i...

So, while my untimely death would have been a mere blip in Canada's statistics, it would have been a good anecdotal story for opponents of Canadianizing the U.S.




I'm going to keep this one about you out of respect for your story.

And with that in mind, if you have more problems then come to Canada. Our medical outcomes are better, our infant mortality rate is lower, and our life expectancy is higher.

We'll try to fit you in in a timely manner but being a foreigner you're going to have to pay a bit. Better still go to Switzerland because I've heard it's the world's best now.
  
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Jeff
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #4 - Oct 2nd, 2017 at 8:28am
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burnsred wrote on Oct 1st, 2017 at 11:10pm:
But you have a point.  Sarcastically listing the races of people is something I would do on the politics board I keep recommending to you.  It's appropriate there because the liberals constantly obsess about race.  You're the only one on this forum that does that so I apologize to all others who read that irrelevant paragraph.



I'm glad to know that you weren't killed by some national health "system" ossified bureaucracy, and agree that would have been the likely outcome had you been a Canadian.

I found the paragraph regarding the wide diversity of the people who helped you to be inspiring. All of them, despite their age and sex and color and religion and national origin, worked together toward the common goal of saving your life. I found it to be very much to the point of the idea of America. Thanks for including it.
  
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Jeff
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #5 - Oct 2nd, 2017 at 8:35am
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Don_G wrote on Oct 1st, 2017 at 11:21pm:
And with that in mind, if you have more problems then come to Canada. Our medical outcomes are better, our infant mortality rate is lower, and our life expectancy is higher.
There are reasons for that, but they don't include that you have better medical care or a superior "system" for delivering medical care.

That will probably change if America ends up having a government designed and controlled "system" of medical care. But even then, we will probably stay home and "pay a bit" for some special service here. Those that can afford it that is... Just like Canadians with enough money now come to the U.S. or go to Switzerland? (I didn't know Canadian health care was bad enough that people would go to Switzerland!).
  
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Don_G
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #6 - Oct 2nd, 2017 at 11:50am
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There's another factor that hasn't been mentioned that accounts for the poorer medical outcome in the US and it could be a factor in this case that burnsred has invited us to discuss.

In the US it's a fact that people are prohibited by cost from going to their doctor for an annual checkup. This results in no early diagnosis of problems, which results in lower life expectancy due to more drastic measures needed in treatment.

There's a possibility that burnsred beat the system and dodged the US private for profit bullet!

Maybe he will volunteer more details on that possibility? The evidence for it being a problem is simple to find with a google search.
  
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ahhell
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #7 - Oct 2nd, 2017 at 12:11pm
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Don_G wrote on Oct 2nd, 2017 at 11:50am:
In the US it's a fact that people are prohibited by cost from going to their doctor for an annual checkup. This results in no early diagnosis of problems, which results in lower life expectancy due to more drastic measures needed in treatment.
That's just nonsense.  Folks choose not to see doctor's regularly for all sorts of reasons, if the cost is a factor, its due to misinformation and misplaced priorities. For most men there's not much reason to go to annual check ups prior to 40 or 50.   
  
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Don_G
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #8 - Oct 2nd, 2017 at 12:21pm
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ahhell wrote on Oct 2nd, 2017 at 12:11pm:
That's just nonsense.  Folks choose not to see doctor's regularly for all sorts of reasons, if the cost is a factor, its due to misinformation and misplaced priorities. For most men there's not much reason to go to annual check ups prior to 40 or 50.   

No my friend, it's not nonsense.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertpearl/2015/03/05/healthcare-black-latino-poor...

We don't know if it was a factor for burnsred and we don't know if burnsred is white, black pink, or green. Canadians don't consider that a factor so I haven't asked. In any case, poor white people fit the described problem in that link as well.
  
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burnsred
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Re: March 2016, I was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer
Reply #9 - Oct 2nd, 2017 at 6:20pm
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In the US it's a fact that people are prohibited by cost from going to their doctor for an annual checkup.
That's not a fact at all.  I don't know where you got your information since you never say, but you are completely wrong about that.

Every medical insurance plan I've been on in my adult life, starting with working part-time for UPS in 1986, has offered free annual checkups.  It only makes sense that an insurance company would want it's customers to catch life-threatening illnesses in their early stages to save money.

Medicare and Medicaid also have free wellness visits which are even more thorough than checkups because they are basically a health maintenance class along with the examination and blood and urine workup.

So who are these US citizens who can't afford something that's free?
  
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