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CancerLynx - we prowl the net
February 19, 2001

Does The Patient Know Best?
Sammy De Roos, Gayla Lacatena, Angela Sissons, Sandi Spivey

This could be normal. I don't know, not having a medical degree. I too have read some good things about this drug and would even recommend it. Why? Maybe its because some of these last line, last ditch effort drugs like this can be used more effectively first line. But then I only have cancer; I am not an expert at it.
Sammy De Roos

Good point. Sometimes it seems like us folks with cancer are the only experts at the whole cancer experience. From the posts I read, we are the ones who do a lot of research and bring that information to our oncologists for them to consider. Are oncologists suffering from information overload due to all the new treatments and clinical trials going on? And most of them treat more than breast cancer. How can they ever keep up with it all?
-- Sandi Spivey

I think your point is well taken; that the patient knows more than the doctor, especially when it comes to drugs such as Celebrex In trials, the researchers collect reported (and unreported but measurable) side effects. Once the drug is released, then it is up to the docs to report side effects from long-term use. So it is very important that we DO report, so that long-term problems can become part of the drug's documented history. We saw that happen with Aredia, with Herceptin, and now Celebrex. It's exciting, but scary.
Angela Sissons

You just can't know the best options unless you devote yourself to becoming familiar with all kinds of treatments. I always felt like I should hurry up and make a decision and get started on treatment right away. Even my first malignant tumor, the oncologist left the decision about whether or not to have chemotherapy entirely up to, what, I'm the one with the medical degree?
Hmmmmmm Gayla Lacatena

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