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In the absence of any discussion points in over a month, I thought I would offer up one of my recent blog entries for review and comment; see below:
"An extremely frustrating aspect of a PCa diagnosis has been the lack of consensus among the recognized experts. Most all practitioners including urologists, radiologists (a diverse group unto themselves), medical oncologists and a variety of surgeons appear to regard us as an ideal candidate for their area of expertise. Too often we PCa warriors rely on the first specialist we encounter or equally worrisome we research our options to the best of our ability and base our decision on woefully incomplete data. Either way it's a crap shoot. For the life of me (said with tongue only partly in cheek), I can think of no other affliction where the treatment choice is so problematic.
A couple of months ago the TV program "Sixty Minutes" covered a potential solution to our dilemma. The show featured a cancer center located at the University of North Carolina where a team of experts develop treatment plans for cancer patients who have failed standard therapy using the computerized Watson System of Artificial Intelligence. AI capability enables the team to formulate more effective plans based on all the medical literature published world wide including up-to-date clinical trial data.
Wouldn't it be nice if one institute or another with Watson AI capability focused on prostate cancer? Us PCa warriors can only hope.
To view a transcript of the Sixty Minutes segment; see:
Thanks Don for "waking up" the forum again. Your post covers what most of us veterans already realize I guess. This cancer, that too many think of as a "minor" cancer, is full of guesswork and unknowns. There are many options in ways to treat it, (or not treat it), giving the uninformed the idea that it is no big deal. In reality, there are no good options and the victim is left to educate himself on what might be the best choice of a path to take on an uncertain journey. It would be nice to push a button and have some computer buzz through all pertinent data and spit out a solution for each case. That may be possible to some extent but being an old timer and suspicious of electronic logic, I wouldn't put too much faith in such things. Garbage in - garbage out comes to mind. A computer needs hard and fast facts to come up with black and white solutions and such a thing just does not exist in this cancer arena. Stay on this subject line too long and it just becomes more complicated and confusing I am afraid. This AI computer might have the same issue with this problem as it would in determining the final decimal place of 3.14. Anything is worth a try however and improvements would certainly be welcomed in the system we currently have. There, I have said a lot and yet said nothing. Best to all the warriors in this battle. Jon.
I suspect you and I will be long gone before the PCa problem is completely solved...especially with the click of a button. About all any of us can hope for is a little improvement step by step. One line from the Whimsical Diversion entry seems to represent a smidgen of progress in treating certain (non-PCA cancers); namely: " AI capability enables the team to formulate more effective plans based on all the medical literature published world wide including up-to-date clinical trial data."
Hope others take the time to weigh in as you did.
Regards Don O.
I haven’t been on this site for a couple of years. I recognize your names. I believe I had my prostate yanked about 11 years ago and so far so good. I have a buddy who had a PSA sky sky high about 13 years ago and was only given a couple of years to live. He is still alive with a PSA of only 1. It’s been a tough road for him with hormone treatments that would go for a period of time followed by periods of 6 months or so of no treatment to keep the body from getting too used to that specific hormone therapy. The side effects were not always fun but he still enjoys life in his mid 70’s. I understand that brachy therapy is much improved also to put it on kind of an even keel to surgery. Heading to a house party with my wife and joping the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey game is on the tv. Have a good Christmas guys.