It’s 63 degrees out today, and one of my neighbors just got a great end-of-season deal on a pool.
He had it delivered and installed over the weekend… and you know what this screwball did?
He filled it up and is swimming around in it, right now, as I write this!
I can see him from my window. It’s too cold for anyone else to join him — but since HE paid for it, he’s absolutely determined to get some use out of it in the final days of summer.
Even if that means risking hypothermia!
Your doc might have a lot in common with my neighbor. If he invests in a prostate-zapping radiation machine, he’s darn sure planning to use it.
And, like my neighbor swimming around while everyone is shutting their pools down, he’s going to use it — even when it’s downright nuts to do so.
New research shows how older men with prostate cancer are much more likely to have radiation for the disease when they’re “cared for” by a doc who owns the equipment that does the job.
This isn’t just true of guys who need treatment.
This is even true — ESPECIALLY true — when guys SHOULDN’T get treated at all. Older men with low-risk tumors are much more likely to die of something else and, for the most part, can safely ignore prostate cancer.
But when docs own the radiation equipment, they’re likely to zap those patients just the same.
I guess the old saying is true: When you’re a hammer, everything else looks like a nail!
The new study of senior men with prostate cancer finds guys with the disease are about 20 percent more likely to be treated with radiation when their doctors own the device.
The more expensive the device, the more the odds of being pushed into that treatment climbs.
Someone’s gotta pay off those loans, right?
When doctors (or their practice) own a fancy new intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) machine, the odds of treatment jumps by 60 percent!
The researchers behind the study say it doesn’t PROVE that docs are looking out for their own bank accounts. But they sure are suspicious, warning that it sure looks as if docs are being influenced by financial incentives.
That means you should do TWO things before you commit to any treatment.
First, make your doc lay his cards on the table. Ask if he’s got any skin in the game. It doesn’t mean he’s a crook, but it certainly CAN help explain why he’s eager to get you into treatment.
And second, get another opinion — from a doc with no cash on the line — to see if you can safely avoid treatment.
In most cases, you’ll find you can.