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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:
Don. I think I get your meaning and the frustration behind our dilemma.AI is suspect to a lot of us old timers. Basically, it appears to just be a computerized way to organize statistics. Statistics are fickle and very general, not capable of personalizing data as the human mind is - my opinion. So, in the end we are in the same place we started at and maybe, even a bit more confused. The many choices are still a crap shoot. I see no way around that, there are no crystal balls and no "Santa Clause". That is why I think this site is so valuable for newcomers seeking that "holy grail' answer. Looking through all the stories on this site it is soon evident that anything is a crap shoot and armed with that knowledge, one can come up with a decision that best suits his situation using his own parameters. Experts are experts in their own field but not "all knowing". That leaves a lot of uncovered ground as you say. All the best to our brothers out there! Jon.
Seasons greetings Don. My perspective is that medicine is not an exact science. Why so you ask? Well treatment protocols can and do vary quite substantially among health consumers and that surprisingly also includes identical twins. The problem is not so much with the treatment protocols but rather our unique genetic profile and the interaction twixt. Some may well argue that mankind being only several thousand years old as a unique species, the identification of genetic subsets and therapies targeted thereto, should be relatively simple? If only that were true! Even drug dosage are not precise, a variation of 5 to 10 percent is the norm in most countries. Also medical speciality is exploding. Essentially we are learning more and more, about less and less.