$617,000 Spent: Patient’s wife doesn’t know whether the treatment helped

The American “system” seems to have developed the fine art of separating patients from their money. Even with the best of intentions by all involved, our health care non-system for people with incurable disease is perilously close to a scam.

Watch this

Medicynical Note: Kidney cancer’s course varies widely. It often remains stable for years without treatment. This patient may have benefited but also it’s quite likely that after surgery none of the treatments altered the disease course–but did have great toxicity.

The surgery that removed the initial tumor cost $25,000–and the tumor was gone for two years. Avastin (a “new” targeted treatment) one dose cost $27,000 did nothing. Amazing what we’ll spend for a limited benefit  when we are desperately ill.

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