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Thread: Pro Bono Cancer Clinics?

  1. #1
    Newbie Regular User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Pro Bono Cancer Clinics?

    Hello, I am new to this forum. My father was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am trying to find any information on cancer clinics in the US that might offer pro bono prostate cancer treatment to foreign citizens. I am not even sure if this is an option. If you have any ideas, I would appreciate any help or advice you can give. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User HighlanderCFH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Highland, Indiana

    I know we are all strangers in this forum, and I understand if you choose to ignore my message (as you may receive many of them on a regular basis). My story is short. I am a daughter of a father who's been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He lives in Russia, and I live in America. My husband and I are hoping my father is going to get decent care back in Russia. We were able to contact some doctors there. However, I am terrified of what could happen as a result of their treatment. My father is only 60 years old. His PSA level is 25. His Gleason score appears to be "grade 3 (4+4)", if I understand anything from reading Russian medical reports. I know he is very scared. We all are. I am desperately trying to find a doctor or a clinic here in the States that would offer a free treatment to a patient who is not even a citizen of the USA. I don't know if finding such clinic is even a possibility. If you have any information or could guide me in the right direction, I would be immensely grateful to you.

    Thank you,

    Hi Natasha,

    Sorry to hear the situation your father is in with his prostate problem. Can you double-check on his Gleason score? "Grade 3 and 4+4" do not make any sense to me.

    The Gleason score is the sum of two digits. For example, the 4+4 would mean an overall Gleason score of 8 -- which is an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

    However, you also mentioned the number "3," which could be a less aggressive type. So if you can clear this info up, we can give you a better idea of the situation.

    Where do you live in the USA? I would first check with local hospitals and even some of the major, national medical centers, and ask about the possibility of free treatment. Perhaps they are aware of charitable programs that are designed to help those unable to pay.

    I would also contact my local U.S. congressman and senator to ask if they are aware of any agencies or organizations that help with financial/medical situations like this.

    If you can get any more info about your dad's stats, please let us see them -- such as the staging of the disease from the pathologist.

    If possible (I'm not sure of the medical system in Russia), your dad should also have his original slides (from his biopsy) analyzed by another lab just to verify the results of the first one. If necessary, you could probably arrange for the slides to be shipped to you and have a lab here in the states (such as the Oppenheimer Lab) do the analysis.

    Please also let your dad know that prostate cancer, if found early enough, is curable even if it is an aggressive type. Finding it early is the key. His PSA pf 25 is pretty high, but that does not mean a cure is not still possible.

    Also, it is EXTREMELY important that the doctor who treats your dad (whether it is through surgery, radiation, etc) is VERY experienced with such treatments. The doctor should be one who has performed at least 300-400 previous surgeries or radiation treatments.

    None of us on the forum are doctors, so you should always take our opinions with a grain of salt. But most of us have been down this road personally and understand how scary it can be.

    We are NEVER too busy to offer our opinions, knowledge and experience. So please do not hesitate to write.

    Take care and good luck!

    July 2011 local PSA lab reading 6.41 (from 4.1 in 2009). Mayo Clinic PSA 9/ 2011 = 5.7.
    Local uro DRE revealed significant BPH, no lumps.
    PCa Dx Aug. 2011 age of 61.
    Biopsy DXd adenocarcinoma in 3/20 cores (one 5%, two 20%). T2C.
    Gleason 3+3=6. CT abdomen, bone scan negative.
    DaVinci prostatectomy 11/1/11 at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), nerve sparing, age 62.
    Surgeon was Dr. Matthew Tollefson, who I highly recommend.
    Final pathology shows tumor confined to prostate.
    5 lymph nodes, seminal vesicules, extraprostatic soft tissue all negative.
    1.0 x 0.6 x 0.6 cm mass involving right posterior inferior, right posterior apex & left
    mid posterior prostate. Right posterior apex margin involved by tumor over 0.2 cm length,
    doctor says this is insignificant.
    Prostate 98 grams, tumor 2 grams.
    Catheter out in 7 days. No incontinence, minor dripping for a few weeks.
    Six annual post-op exams 2012 through 2017: PSA <0.1
    Semi-firm erections 5 years post-op whenever the moon turns into blue cheese.
    NOTE: ED caused by BPH, not the surgery.

  3. #3
    Newbie Regular User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Chuck, thank you for some useful suggestions! Unfortunately, I can't give you more information at this time because he hasn't undergone all the tests. Once I know more, I will let you know. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Top User lancepeace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I'm thinking the hospital centers would not want to advertise pro bono services, which lose money to the organization. Think you would have to query each individual hospital about this. Treatment in India, Hungary, etc might be cheaper than USA.
    Most patients without bone metastasis live for a number of years.
    Good luck obtaining treatment in Russia or elsewhere.
    DOB Sept. 1947. Prostate cancer Gleason 7 (3+4), PSA 5 in Oct 2010. Cryoablation Jan. 2011. Had some complications.
    Experienced nocturia, irritable bladder summer 2011. "Agent Orange"compensation from VA Oct 2011.
    PSA: .05 01/26/2012, .06 6/26/2012, .04 12/24/2012, .04 6/26/13, .05 1/27/14, .05 10/21/14, .04 10/15
    I am eating vegan mostly plus a little fish. Take some supplements.
    (Any advice given is the personal opinion of a layman and is not intended to replace the advice of a health professional.)


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