It’s probably inevitable that when some rare and less common cancers affect less than 20 people in every 100,000, the chances of those 20 ending up seeing exactly the right people to help them wouldn’t be very high, perhaps not high at all.
But it seems pretty obvious to us that just two things, relatively simple things, are needed to increase those chances quite dramatically.
Firstly, for more Oncologists to provide precise details on their areas of specialisation.
Secondly, for blogs and websites to be created to enable these 20 to more readily access these details.
To us the “Secondly” is kindergarten stuff, but there’s a catch in the “Firstly,” a really BIG catch – Oncologists seem remarkably reluctant to provide any details that would help prospective patients.
We’ve started sending letters by email to Oncologists asking these two questions:-
And so far the response rate has been even worse than we might have predicted.
Could it be because so many of them are dependent for their incomes on lots of people coming to them when they are not exactly the right ones for them to see? That the amount of revenue flowing to the Oncology profession would drop substantially if anything was done to help those needing help to only see exactly the right doctors for them to see. After all the fees are the same for patients to see doctors who are not exactly the right ones. Could it be that this is a factor in patients with rare and less common cancers continuing to see processions “of clinicians who may know little and have even less experience treating their specific cancers,” to use the words in the Sydney Morning Herald article?
We’ll keep sending out our letters and see how things develop.