Hospital expertise varies

April 20, 2013

I read with great interest [Mickey Maurer’s April 15] column about his prostate cancer experiences.

In January 2006, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer—not something you want to get. My first inclination was that I would be treated locally, because we have a good hospital system in Indianapolis. Further investigation revealed that was not the case in my situation.

I was told that my treatment would be immediate surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy. That plan was altered a few days later when I was told that the radiation and chemo would come first, followed by surgery. I became suspicious that not all the members of the choir were singing from the same sheet music.

I learned that the University of Michigan had pioneered a procedure that involved a 3-inch to 4-inch incision in the throat and a 6-inch to 7-inch incision in the abdomen. This was preceded by several weeks of chemo and twice-per-day radiation and a few weeks of rest to prepare for the operation.

I have been cancer-free for almost seven years.

Most hospitals are good at treating most things, some are great at treating some things, but few are great at treating everything.

Dick Maurer, Carmel
(no relation to Mickey Maurer)

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