Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Second Opinion

Dr.Ezee spoke so positively about prostatectomy and seed implantation and so negatively about proton therapy, I decided to consult another specialist. As mentioned earlier in this chronicle I attended two medical seminars as part of my research effort. An oncologist who specializes in prostate cancer by the name of Dr. Trucair conducted the first of these seminars. Dr. Trucair impressed me as being highly intelligent, well informed and deeply compassionate. In answer to a question I raised concerning my personal situation, Dr. Trucair advised me of how he would want his father treated under similar circumstances. This response struck me as being unusually empathic. Most physicians in my experience do not equate the treatment of their patients with how they would want close members of their family treated. I attended Dr. Trucair"s seminar prior to my diagnosis,i.e., while still hopeful I had nothing to worry about. By the end of the seminar I knew, if the need arose, Dr. Trucair was the type of physician I wanted on my treatment team.

I was not overly surprised that Dr. Trucair agreed to see me on short notice in a timely manner without a referral. He began the appointment by performing a mini-physical that included a fair amount of probing, prodding and thumping. He carefully examined by lymph nodes and listened to my heart and lungs through his stethoscope. Despite my recent back surgery and cancerous biopsy , Dr. Trucair announced his findings: "You are in very good health" He subsequently inquired "How can I be of service?" I summarized the results of my appointment with Dr Ezee and how enthusiastically he recommended either surgery or seed implantation. I also alluded to Dr. Ezee's comments concerning proton therapy. In the latter regard Dr. Trucair conjectured
Dr. Ezee may have based his conclusion on older forms of radiation treatment. "If I were you", Dr. Trucair continued, "I would not rule out surgery nor would I rule out radiation". "On the other hand," he confided, "you are not a candidate for hormone therapy nor do I recommend watching and waiting". The latter modalities are more appropriate for older or less healthy individuals who are not expected to outlive the progression of their disease(s). "And finally if you intend to pursue proton therapy, I recommend you consult a colleague of mine who knows everything there is to know about radiation." Since I trusted Dr. Trucair's judgement, and it seemed like the right thing to do, I readily agreed. Accordingly Dr. Trucair made the arrangements for yet another expert opinion.

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