Treated 2009 · Posted 2011

"Two years later my PSA is about .50 and holding."

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

The Bad: I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at a well known medical facility just north of Boston in the fall of 2008. Because I'm interested in my own health, I did a lot of research on treatment options before meeting with my then urologist.

After waiting nearly 90 minutes for my appointment to start, he came into the examination room to meet with me and my wife. No apology for his tardiness was offered, nor did he remember my name, my age nor my PSA score. As I discussed options with him he cut me off and commenced to instruct me that only he, through surgery could possibly cure my cancer, no further discussion was needed.

Immediately the next morning I contacted MGH (Massachusetts General Hospital) for an appointment to review my options. Some Good: I got an appointment right away at MGH. I was brought into the conference room on time, and to my surprise there were four doctors there to meet with me and my wife. A surgeon, an oncologist, and two radiological oncologists. My options were carefully and thoroughly explained to me, and the decision was mine to make. I decided on proton beam therapy, and was put on the waiting list for that treatment.

One week before my treatment was to begin, I suffered a heart attack. While in the MGH cardiology unit I told my doctor that I had a problem because I was supposed to start my proton radiation treatments in the cancer center that week and I did not want to lose my spot. He laughed and told me that in 28 years at MGH none of his patients had never had ever faced such a dilemma. He said he would intercede on my behalf with the cancer center.

After recuperation from my heart attack I commenced my proton beam treatments for two months. Two years later my PSA is about .50 and holding.

I can't say enough good things about my treatment at MGH. A caring and professional staff treated me with kindness and understanding.

The Ugly: I had to go to the patient advocate at my original urologist's facility in order to get my medical records released. After several calls to his office they were never forwarded to MGH.

Dennis Spurling