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Latest Billionaire diagnosed with Prostate Cancer is…

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Warren Buffett.

According to this source,  Mr. Buffet was recently diagnosed with Stage 1 prostate cancer. He underwent a slew of test including; biopsy ( that’s how he was diagnosed), CT scan, MRI and bone scan. He will have two-month treatment of an undisclosed type – I am assuming it is some type of radiation treatment which typically last about 40 days – my guess.

My take on this:

It is completely ridiculous for an 81 year-old man to be screened for prostate cancer. It is even more absurd to order a bunch of test like CT scans, MRI’s and bone scans for a stage 1 cancer. Stage 1 prostate cancer implies that the disease is low risk; PSA<10, Gleason score <6 and Stage is T1c.

To top it all off, the logic to treat this disease type of prostate cancer on a patient who is 81 years-old is absolutely asinine.

You want to know why healthcare cost is so high? This is it.

Unnecessary Screening, imaging’s, treatments and treatment of side effects from prostate cancer treatments  is what’s driving the urological healthcare cost to the moon. Of course, Mr. Buffet will probably pay for everything out-of-pocket, but that is not the case for 99.9% of the men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

So what’s the best treatment of  Mr. Buffett’s prostate cancer ? Nothing.

Active surveillance, meaning, the proper monitoring of patients with low grade prostate cancer without performing any aggressive treatment, is a viable option for Mr. Buffett (Klotz 2012) – if the LA times report have their facts right.

Better yet, Active “Holistic” Surveillance is an even better option where now you have the patient making significant, powerful lifestyle modifications to slow or reverse their disease.

You wonder why the U.S. Preventive Task Force is opposed to prostate cancer screening with the use of PSA? Walah.

 

Reference:

Klotz L. Active Surveillance for Favorable-risk Prostate Cancer: Background, Patient Selection, Triggers for Intervention, and Outcomes. Curr Urol Rep. 2012 Apr 4

 

 

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by Dr. Geo

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