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PSAs and HMOs

Posts: 27
Joined: Apr 2004

In Feb 99,after becoming eligible for Medicare, I signed on with a certain HMO and was provided a copy of their "Healthwise" handbook. In regards to prostate cancer, the book states: "There is a great deal of controversy about the value of using digital rectal exams and the PSA blood test to screen men who do not have any symptoms of prostate cancer." Consequently, my HMO primary care doctor never suggested a PSA despite my age of 65. Saves them a lot of money. I dumped this HMO in Nov 01 and was found to have a very elevated PSA shortly after my first visit to my new primary care doctor and have since been diagnosed with a high grade prostate cancer. These guys are dangerous to say the least. Some HMOs are OK, just don't get sick.

Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

Glad to see you took action and got a program together to take care of the cancer.

Even though you changed your HMO (they are concerned about profit first, but, we can start DEMANDING of our primary care doctor to take reasonable and accepted tests we feel needed, otherwise, yes they seem to drag their feet and save money. All he can say is no but he may also say yes when confronted?)----

For those that do not have the ability or desire to seek out better medical coverage --- I have posted before that a PSA test can be purchased separetly through their doctor, even if their insurance policy does not, or can tell them who can do. To many people assume that their health and well being is controlled soley by the insurance companies!

If insurance companies do not pay for it, we can have our doctor, clinic or etc. take the blood sample and send it in for analysis and pay for it out of pocket. It is not expensive. It is that important (as you know) yet, many will delay because their insurance won't pay for it and they won't take control of their life or medical decisions. We try to ignore major problems - hoping they will go away or at the least, be able to share blame with others for getting cancer when we suspected, and had the opportunity to catch it early?) Many need only to ASK their family doctor if they can pay for it out of pocket and the cost!? It can be very important.

DEMAND BETTER MEDICAL SERVICE -- you just may get it.

Good luck and best regards,

Posts: 117
Joined: May 2003

Hi Joe,
Just curious, I sent you and sunblade an update message about my condition some time ago. Did you get it??
When you log on to the home page, look over along the right side & see if you've got any messages.
Just wondering is all, nothing really important, just letting you & sunblade who are on my "friends" list know what the latest scoop is.

Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 2004

You have been victimized by the cancer industry. We all have to realize that, let's face it, cancer supports a lot of professional lifestyles that many of us cancer patients will never have. I had an original psa of 4.6 and the doctor gave up trying to notify me by phone. He had told me "you're healthy" in his office so I ignored the calls and a year later I had a 5.8 and I finally began taking action. What are all these guys going to do when a cure is finally found? I hope everyone knows California has a state program of treating prostate cancer that is totally free to those who can't afford insurance.

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