prostate cancer

Pricey New Treatment Roils Issues Of How To Treat Prostate Cancer

Oct 5, 2016
Courtesy of SonaCare

Men hoping to avoid some side effects of prostate cancer treatment are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a procedure whose long-term effects are unknown and insurers, including Medicare, won’t pay for.

An outspoken Sarasota urologist, whose unusual practice style brought him under state investigation four years ago, has signed an agreement that includes suspension from practice.

Suarez Urology

Twelve years ago, right after getting a diagnosis of prostate cancer, Carl Sola of Homestead flew with his wife to the Dominican Republic for a treatment he couldn't get in the United States.

His friends warned him not to risk an unproven procedure, one his insurance didn’t cover.

Sarasota urologist  Ronald Wheeler says he's going to continue doing a controversial prostate-cancer treatment, even though an FDA panel recently voted against it and even though the state could punish him for it.

Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the French device that Wheeler uses for high-intensity focused ultrasound, called HIFU, he has been treating his patients in Mexico.

A Sarasota urologist who diagnoses prostate cancer in an unusual way and treats U.S. patients at a clinic in Cancun will not agree to a suspension from practice.

Dr. Ronald Wheeler has rejected an offer from the Florida Board of Medicine to let him keep his medical license if he agrees to a year of suspension and an $80,000 fine, according to the Department of Health.

Rebel Urologist Called ‘Menace’

Jun 6, 2014

Calling him “a menace to society,” the Florida Board of Medicine rejected the Department of Health’s proposed settlement to allow Dr. Ronald Wheeler to continue in practice.

The Sarasota urologist, who specializes in prostate problems and uses unusual diagnostic and treatment methods, should have his medical license suspended for at least a year and be closely monitored for at least five years after that, board members said Friday at a board hearing in Tampa.

When a man gets a worrisome PSA result, his doctor is likely to schedule him for a prostate biopsy. It’s the standard of care.

But if he goes on the Internet and looks around, he may get very different advice. He may find a YouTube video starring a Sarasota urologist who says biopsies are old-fashioned. Barbaric, even.

James Borchuck / Tampa Bay Times

If human beings were guided only by logic, they would be likely to agree when research indicates "watchful waiting" is the best course for certain conditions that may be called "cancer." But emotions like fear make that tough, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The men and women who often treat prostate cancer are now recommending that the blood test commonly used to screen for it should be given a lot less often.

The American Urological Association released new guidelines that, if they're heeded, would dramatically reduce the ranks of men who would be candidates for PSA testing.