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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:57 PM

Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Anyone else feel disturbed watching their ads?

I see their adds on TV a fair amount, usually on US news channels. Unbeknownst to some outside Canada, we do have a a 2nd tier for profit system alongside our universal health care system, and sadly it's been growing. But I'm not used to seeing advertisements on TV for the for profit medical sector, aside from pharmaceutical ads.

I'm sure if you can afford their exorbitant fees that they give good care, but what bothers me about the ads is the types of cancer and people they highlight in their ads. They usually showcase someone who has pancreatic cancer or late 4th stage lung cancer etc.. The worst of the worst cancers with extremely low survival rates. They never use the word 'cure' of course but only and idiot would come away from these ads with any other suggestion. It's one thing for individual Dr's to give their patients hope even in the face of bad odds but watching these ads really puts a bad taste in my mouth!

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Reply Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Anyone else feel disturbed watching their ads? (Original post)
Locut0s Feb 2013 OP
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #1
Locut0s Feb 2013 #3
Snarkoleptic Feb 2013 #22
Union Scribe Feb 2013 #25
babylonsister Feb 2013 #2
Locut0s Feb 2013 #5
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2013 #6
babylonsister Feb 2013 #9
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #12
LiberalLoner Feb 2013 #18
Skittles Feb 2013 #37
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #45
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #10
Locut0s Feb 2013 #13
longship Feb 2013 #4
Locut0s Feb 2013 #7
tosh Feb 2013 #8
union_maid Feb 2013 #11
SunSeeker Feb 2013 #14
Mnemosyne Feb 2013 #15
Stinky The Clown Feb 2013 #16
Union Scribe Feb 2013 #26
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #17
Marie Marie Feb 2013 #19
Honeycombe8 Feb 2013 #27
Revanchist Feb 2013 #32
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #39
Honeycombe8 Feb 2013 #49
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2013 #20
LiberalAndProud Feb 2013 #21
markpkessinger Feb 2013 #41
madrchsod Feb 2013 #23
aquart Feb 2013 #24
Shivering Jemmy Feb 2013 #28
octoberlib Feb 2013 #29
patrice Feb 2013 #30
6000eliot Feb 2013 #31
The Flaming Red Head Feb 2013 #33
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #34
Smilo Feb 2013 #35
erinlough Feb 2013 #36
pstokely Feb 2013 #38
malaise Feb 2013 #40
safeinOhio Feb 2013 #42
felix_numinous Feb 2013 #48
K8-EEE Feb 2013 #43
no_hypocrisy Feb 2013 #44
Dorian Gray Feb 2013 #46
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #47

Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:00 PM

1. They're grossly-for-profit and run by this clown:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_J._Stephenson

<snip>
Political involvement

Stephenson serves on the board of the conservative group FreedomWorks. In the run-up to the 2012 US presidential election, Stephenson reportedly funneled $12 million to the FreedomWorks super PAC through various firms in a way that effectively hid the origins of the funds. In late 2012, Stephenson agreed to pay $400,000 a year for twenty years to FreedomWorks provided former House majority leader Dick Armey left his position as chairman of the conservative group.

According to the Post profile, Stephenson "has a passion for libertarian politics stretching back to the 1960s, when he attended seminars featuring Atlas Shrugged author Ayn Rand and economist Murray Rothbard ... an early supporter of Citizens for a Sound Economy, the conservative lobbying group founded by oil billionaires Charles and David Koch in 1984". In 2004 CSE split in two, with the Kochs keeping control of AFP while Stephenson and Armey stayed with FreedomWorks.
</snip>

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:05 PM

3. Yuck, not surprising to hear though. nt

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:12 PM

22. He's a NW Subrban Chicago wingnut extrordinaire with an 86-point score on Muckety.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:17 AM

25. Yikes, my worst suspicions confirmed. nt

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:04 PM

2. I don't trust them either. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:09 PM

5. Yeah. I just find it sickening because...

They are usually talking about cancers that have like 5 - 10% survival rates. Now maybe there's something in the fine print that says otherwise but they don't come out in the ad and say so. Pancreatic cancer for example has a 5 year survival rate of 6%.

They go into talking about whole body treatment. How they treat "body and mind" how they explore both alternative and regular therapies etc etc.. I'm sorry but a 5 year 10% survival rate is really the truth. Sure maybe with extreme measures maybe they can extend that a few percentage points but that's certainly not the feeling you get from the ad. The feeling you get is that there's a good chance they can cure you. It seems sickening to me. And to think of the amount of money I'm sure these people pay them!

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:12 PM

6. It is also prayer-centered treatment. A neighbor's mother bought into it

went for a consult, found out how much it cost and the whole daily prayer thing and ran screaming. Unfortunately we lost her to Metastatic Melanoma 2 years ago.

There was a great article about some of their treatments being wildly out of date, their "different" approach being the prayer mixed with homeopathy thing and whatnot. I'll see if I can find it.

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Response to Locut0s (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:15 PM

9. My uncle died of pancreatic cancer; I know how

incurable it is, so I find their ads disingenuous at best. But hey, whatever the market will bear. I guess they don't actually have to prove their successes. And did you see the look of those places? Lots of $$$...

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:18 PM

12. So did my brother, 2011. FOUR months from turning 65 and retiring.

Diagnosed in December 2010, passed in early 2011. So fast he barely was able to get his life in order.



And I never got to say my goodbye to him.

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Response to DainBramaged (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:52 PM

18. I'm so sorry.

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Response to DainBramaged (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:49 AM

37. aw Dain

so sorry

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Response to Skittles (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:14 AM

45. .....

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/DainBramaged/485


My brother would have been 65 tomorrow
Posted by DainBramaged in General Discussion
Thu Jul 21st 2011, 11:19 AM

but he died from pancreatic cancer in early April of this year. Like my father who died at 64 from heart failure and my sister who is very ill and will be 63 in August probably will not reach the magic number for retirement either. I hadn't seen my brother since my father's funeral in 1985. He was one of the lost souls of Vietnam. Severely wounded by a 'popper', even winning two bronze stars for bravery in combat. Lyndon Johnson even pinned his Purple Heart on him when he arrived home to recover. he lost part of his foot and hand and had shrapnel in him they never removed. He came home and was briefly married, and fathered a daughter. Spent most of his years after that lost like so many of his brothers in arms. We had thought he had died years ago since there had been no contact with him from anyone in our families. But in April something told me to try and find him again. What I found was his obituary.

He lived FIFTEEN MINUTES from his daughter and about two hours from me, but had not contacted her in over 20 years. He had worked here and there but because of his ghosts, never could hold a job for long. When it was discovered he had cancer in early January of this year, he moved in with some members of the church he adopted. When he was placed in hospice, his minister contacted his daughter, but by the time she reached him, he had slipped into a coma and passed quietly. He is buried in a Veterans cemetery near where he lived. But thankfully he didn't die alone. His minister brought me up to speed on his life and death when I researched his church. He was a silent victim of Vietnam. He was a silent victim of the treatment our Veterans receive.


I don't know what ghosts convinced him to live apart form his families most of his adult life. I never got to talk to him after he came back because he disappeared immediately thereafter. And he was silent for the most part at my father;s funeral. he never knew his Mom had died in 2009. He didn't even know my sister and I were still alive nor did he want to know.

Neither my dad or brother got to enjoy 'retirement'. And now the wealthy pricks in Washington are trying to make it worse for the rest of us. I am sure the system failed my brother, because if it was a caring system, he would have found the help he needed long ago. All they provided was hospice in the end.


Thanks for reading.


Happy Birthday my brother, Happy Birthday.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:16 PM

10. Not with my life. True story

Husband of person at work. Husband has stage four lung cancer. They wanted to do surgery, radiation, chemo, the works. LOTS of pain. Maybe a few weeks more at best. He told them his dignity was far more important than lining their pockets when he KNEW he would die this year NO MATTER WHAT THEY DID.


They made it sound like they were selling snake oil. And they were RELENTLESS. He had to change his cell phone number because so many people were calling him to try and convince him to get treatment by them, that his doctors didn't know shit, blah blah blah.


He never smoked a day in his life. 55. But he will die with dignity and not blown up like a balloon like another from work with brain cancer who bought into the bullshit and STILL died last year racking up hundreds of thousands in bills health care won;t cover.

FUCK THEM.

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Response to DainBramaged (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:22 PM

13. I'm sorry to hear of that story, but good on him, sounds like he's a courageous and...

good hearted person!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:06 PM

4. Plus, they pitch "alternative" "cures" in their ads.

I see the ads all the time on This! Network here in rural MI (shows old flicks, no cable here).

They are highly deceiving adverts. And there is no alternative medicine. There's only medicine -- based on science, not wishful thinking or woo woo.

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Response to longship (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:12 PM

7. Yeah exactly I think the same exact thing when I watch their ads...

I'm paraphrasing a bit but they like to say things like they offer "full mind and body" treatment. Using alternative AND the latest medical treatments.

In other words you offer them the same treatment the local hospital does but charge them 1000% more then give them some root of echinacea because it makes them feel better.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:15 PM

8. I've been feeling that way

for a long time. One of the "patient" actresses looks almost identical to someone I know, so that caught my attention early on.

That corporate cancer center gives me the creeps.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:17 PM

11. There are apparently lots of questions about their treatment

They seem to be looking for business from people who have few treatment options left. That's what quackery has always been about. Not saying that's what they are entirely, but they do seem to trade in false hope. There's a disclaimer that flashes across the screen, too, and it's on their website, too, with the testimonials:
This testimonial includes a description of this patient's actual medical results. Those results may not be typical or expected for the particular disease type described in this testimonial.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:31 PM

14. They take people who are going to die regardless of treatment, and add huge debt to their woes. nt

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:36 PM

15. Someone posted here awhile back, that these pos bastards were harassing an old woman for money owed.

Can't remember who or when posted, but distinctly remember how awful they treated that poor old sick woman.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:49 PM

16. "Ghouls" comes quickly to mind.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:18 AM

26. Excellent word choice. Fits perfectly. nt

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:49 PM

17. I think we need to see their results.

Perhaps the CDC has something on them.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:02 PM

19. Sorry wish I could be more specific but I remember reading somewhere

that they were over-exaggerating their success rates. And personally, I would run from any For-Profit health center.

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Response to Marie Marie (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:18 AM

27. Aren't most hospitals for profit? nt

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:04 AM

32. No

Less than 1/5 of the hospitals in the United States are for profit facilities, the rest are either non-profit or state/federal run

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Response to Revanchist (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:59 AM

39. in name only

 

Not-For-Profit Hospitals Make Billions—and Provide Little Charity Care

Not-for-profit hospitals, including some of the country’s biggest and best-known institutions, are almost entirely tax exempt, in part because of the expectation they will provide free or low-cost “charity care" to those in need. But a report released this week by a research arm of California Nurses Association / National Nurses United found that California not-for-profit hospitals are reaping huge tax benefits while providing minimal charity care.

Many people don’t realize that not-for-profit institutions can accumulate profits. They can; the profit cannot be disbursed to individual owners or stockholders but rather is supposed to be reinvested for the good of the community. With hospitals, that is generally assumed to include the provision of charity care to uninsured or low-income people. But while 11 states, including Texas and Alabama, mandate specific levels of charity care, California and the federal government do not.

As a result, not-for-profit tax breaks for well-known California hospitals–including Cedars Sinai, Kaiser Permanente and Stanford University--dwarf the level of charity care provided. Overall, the 196 hospitals surveyed received $3.3 billion in 2010 state and federal tax exemptions and spent only $1.4 billion on charity care--a gap of $1.8 billion. Three-quarters of the hospitals got more dollars in tax breaks than they spent on charity care. Half spent less than 2.46 percent of their operating expenses on charity care.

Idelson stressed that the debate shouldn’t be about the merits of for-profit versus not-for-profit health care systems, but rather public versus private ones. “If you look at the level of charity care and other community benefits and pricing practices, the difference between private not-for-profit and private for-profit hospitals is very small," she says. "But the difference between private and public systems is massive. The institutions that are really acting in a way people think hospitals should behave are the hard-pressed county and public hospital systems.”

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/13698/california_hospitals_not_for_profit_but_not_for_the_poor/

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Response to Revanchist (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:38 PM

49. I'm in Dallas. I believe most of the hospitals here are for profit.

Baylor, UT Southwestern, Presbyterian - all for profit? Parkland is the local charity hospital, so I guess it's state run.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:07 PM

20. to my mind, "advertisements" and "truth" have nothing to do with each other. n/t

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:11 PM

21. There may be some degree of care.

I believe they sell false hope, not treatment. My niece went to CTCA after her attending doctors told her to go home and put her affairs in order. Her cancer was not mitigated. She has been deceased for years, but her medical bills live on.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:13 AM

41. My mother's cousin had a very similar story . . .

. . . She was battling cancer (I forget what kind) at the same time my Dad had inoperable lung cancer. Dad went through radiation and chemo -- and for about five whole days was declared in remission. But then it came back with a vengeance, and there was nothing further the doctors could do. At that point, at his request, we arranged for in-home hospice care. Shortly after the hospice program started, this cousin of my mother's, who was being treated at CTCA, called my father and hectored him about "giving up." Long story short, she was dead less than three months after my father died.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:51 PM

23. i checked out the website

they are more up front about one`s chances of living than the commercials. i was surprised the medicare accepted thier services.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:11 AM

24. When I see that much ad airtime I know their pricing is obscene.

I don't even have to see a bill.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:26 AM

28. From the wiki entry

"Owner Richard J Stephenson is a major donor of Freedom Works Pac which was behind the tea-party effort to defeat ACA."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_Treatment_Centers_of_America


Dubious.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:37 AM

29. They were sued by the Federal Trade Commission for false claims

Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc., and two affiliated hospitals have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that they made false and unsubstantiated claims in advertising and promoting their cancer treatments. The FTC alleged that the respondents could not back up claims, among others, that through certain specific procedures such as "whole body hyperthermia" and "brachytherapy," they were able to successfully treat certain forms of cancer unresponsive to conventional treatment. The respondents also allegedly failed to substantiate a claim that their five-year survivorship rate had ranked among the highest recorded for cancer patients.

http://www.quackwatch.org/02ConsumerProtection/FTCActions/ctca.html

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:43 AM

30. The best, most successful treatment I have seen was received at a state medical center associated

with one of our state university medical schools: The University of Kansas Medical Center, which has received rigorous national awards for its cancer treatment unit. My sister, who was practically indigent at the time, went there and received that absolute best care possible and I have seen a few cases through various kinds of treatment resources. She did eventually die, but my nieces the nurses showed us the research figures that showed us that KU Med added almost 2 years to her life and it was all very good quality time, except for the very last month or so. I know that doesn't sound like much to anyone who hasn't been there, but it was beyond value to her sons.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:45 AM

31. Their ads fall just short of promising miracle cures to hopeless cases.

And they imply that every other treatment is unsuccessful because the doctors don't care. I could tell they were disgusting scumbags even before I read any of this stuff here.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:12 AM

33. No insurance, no money, no treatment

translates to dying of natural causes, cause nobody ever found out what killed you and that means no cancer center ever saw you. She died of NO

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:23 AM

34. Worst of the worst piece of shit, bottom-feeding thieves preying on the most desperate, and insured,

 

victims in America. Apparently now they feel they can make a quick buck scamming the Canadian system. No reputable doctor will go near them and only the most financially desperate or sociopathic care-givers will work for them. Having CTCA on your resume screams "I'll do absolutely anything for money".

How on earth did these snake oil charlatans ever get through the Canadian screening process?

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:25 AM

35. My best friend had cancer

she worked in the medical field had heard of CCA and called them frauds (that was police). I remember a law suit so looked it up.

Legal Reasons for Disclaimers in Medical Advertisements
The reason for the disclaimer results from a lawsuit in the 1990s:

Cancer Treatment Centers of America was the subject of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint in 1993. The FTC alleged that CTCA made false claims regarding the success rates of certain cancer treatments in their promotional materials. This claim was settled in March 1996, requiring CTCA to discontinue use of any unsubstantiated claims in their advertising. CTCA is also required to have proven, scientific evidence for all statements regarding the safety, success rates, endorsements, and benefits of their cancer treatments. CTCA was also required to follow various steps in order to report compliance to the FTC per the settlement.

Cancer centers and hospitals in general (including Cancer Treatment Centers of America) have been the subjects of some controversy over their advertising. Many doctors and other observers have noted that many cancer organizations’ advertising are sparsely regulated and, therefore, often contain unsupported and misleading claims as to the efficacy of their cancer treatments.

In 2001, the FDA issued CTCA a Warning Letter concerning three clinical trials that were conducted in violation of FDA requirements. (From Wikipedia)

http://bakka111.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/cancer-treatment-centers-of-america-hope-but-dont-hope/

After reading who is behind this premise of false hope, why am I not surprised he is a money grubbing, blood sucking republican? No wonder they are fighting Obama Cares and Single Payer - they don't want to lose out of suckering those who are desperate for a sign of hope.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:29 AM

36. My brother in law has lung cancer and went to MAYOs

They told him to opt out of going to one of those. He got excellent care at a local hospital with consultation from mayo clinic. He is still alive, and getting stronger.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:32 AM

38. but they're on TV they must be good

like those for-profit votech schools that also advertise heavily

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:06 AM

40. Yes and what makes it worse is that the owner is

a big time ReTHUGs donor

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:23 AM

42. How many doctors use them?

Here is what most do.
http://blog.acpinternist.org/2012/01/doctors-choices-at-end-of-life-for.html

Not what they'd have you do.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #42)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:25 PM

48. Thanks for this link

safeinOhio. I am not surprised to read this.

It is a good idea to have advanced directives filled out, which vary from state to state.

http://www.nrc-pad.org/images/stories/PDFs/fedaddirectives2a.pdf

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:47 AM

43. YES!!!!! Seems like a racket n/t

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:59 AM

44. The ads disturb me because they are hype.

The mother of my friend went to Philly's franchise, looking for last chance hope. Her physicians told her she was Stage IV in three organs and should discuss hospice. She and her family thought otherwise and took her films with them by ambulance from New York. They waited for their consultation. The CCA physician met with them. Wouldn't look at the films. Just reiterated what original diagnosing physicians told them: no hope.

Turned out that my friend's mother wasn't suffering from cancer, but rather from a fungus from the ubiquitous black mold in her basement. It mimics cancer on films. She went on the Gerson Diet with supervision and was getting better.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:33 AM

46. BC of my DVR

I don't usually watch commercials, but I have seen theirs once. I agree that there is something off about it, though I couldn't quite put my finger on it at the time. I know little about their centers.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:09 AM

47. I have MAJOR questions about those people! They make it sound like....

...they can turn around any cancer case, even those with terminal expectations. Their ads prey on people who are in terribly desperate straits and looking for hope from any direction. I'm sure if they have loads of money and excellent health/medical insurance they get very good care for what little time they realistically have left. They are very sick leeches and should be investigated by someone.

Like so many others in this thread, I have also lost family members to cancer to include my Dad (Pancreatic), his mother (Pancreatic), two of Dad's brothers (lung and brain), my Mom's two brothers (lung and leukemia), my wife's Dad (lung), and a brother-in-law (lung).

My Dad was very fortunate...they caught it early and he underwent the then-radical Whipple Cut surgery. He flat-out refused the chemo and radiation therapies and believed that was the key to him living another 13 years until a related liver cancer surfaced.

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