Totally agree that it is worth doing checks and making sure you have the right person. I just think that all should be careful about using the internet to make our choices. There is a great deal of 'selling' that has crept into Australian surgeon's websites. Just do not take for granted that what they say about their background and qualities as the full package and ask for advice widely. This was my own experience where I had two surgeons I found with impressive websites who seemed to be more concerned about trying to get me switch from my first surgeon than looking after ME! I found a good thing to do was to ask my GP what he really knew of the quality of the work and also try to get contacts in the hospitals that they work to see what people really think. The nurses are the best when it comes to this! My experience left me feeling that cancer surgery is becoming tainted with blatant selling on websites rather than being genuine info and many of the public just do not know any better. They are frankly becoming advertorials. When I came across the blog I have linked to, he seemed to express some of my concerns much better than me.
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I have been a bit of a lurker here but finally decided to join up as I found something I thought was worthwhile sharing. After I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I took to the internet to check if my doctor was okay or if I should see somebody else. It was confusing to see what specialists in Australia were saying. I personally found many of the websites to be suspiciously laced with self promotion and marketing but I decided to give a couple of these surgeons the benefit of the doubt. I saw one in the south of Sydney who seemed like he could not get me on the operating table soon enough. I was given the sense that my existing surgeon was less well trained and less experienced (even though he has been a urologist for well over 10 or 15 years and also works at a major public hospital). I also saw another who also seemed to be actively goading me to change over to his care and have the operation done by the robot. Maybe I am a bit too much of a sceptic but I went back to the old fashioned approach of asking around widely for personal experiences and my original surgeon's name kept coming back as a highly professional, kind, compassionate man who treated everybody - both staff and patients - like they were family. I have since had my surgery by my original surgeon and had a perfect outcome. Within months I have negligible leakage of urine, my erections are starting to show signs of recovery and most importantly my PSA is nothing.
This all said, I came across the blog by a Dr Woo and this basically discusses everything that I have been dying to say about the marketing of cancer in Australian websites. I suggest that all of you read it and use it to help you decide how you chose your surgeon. It is at www.surgicalopinion.blogspot.com This is something I felt worth sharing as my cancer story itself is not all that interesting given that all has gone well. I am just so glad that I did not fall for the hype which incidentally would have also left me substantially out of pocket with expenses.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.