Thursday, June 23, 2005

I'm pissed. Just got a copy of mom/dad's routine blood test results. Which included a whole bunch of crap tests. This prompted me to check out this company's website which promoted certain tests. Kinda the stuff I was complaining about in my earlier blog.
Total BS man. I'm disgusted. Hence, wrote a nasty email to them (which undoubtedly would be ignored):
My parents recently sent me their lab test results. I must say I'm shocked by the types of tests that were done as part of their general screening tests. You list on your website too the types of tests that are usually done, including the cancer markers. The tests that your perform, including the CEA, CA199, AFP are NOT recommended cancer screening tests and are not sanctioned by the many professional medical bodies internationally. I am certain that you know the limits of the sensitivities and specificities of these tests, and any falsely abnormal result may lead to invasive testing. Invasive testing like transrectal prostate biopsies and other tests which have significant risks. Even the PSA, probably the best test of the lot, is still controversial (American Cancer Society vs the American College of Urology).I am a practising physician at the XXX. I am aware of the medical research and data regarding these tests, and I question your rationale in suggesting these to the general public for screening. Perhaps you can enlighten me by providing me with research papers that I may not have been aware of, advocating its use as a screening tool. I believe in evidence-based medicine, and I will let the numbers speak for itself. But for now, I'm somewhat disappointed that you are putting profits as a priority in your service to unknowing Malaysians.
Screw them. Greedy little people. Sang Chai Mou Si Fatt! Cis cis cis!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must agree with u on this matter! It did piss me off many times too, coz my parents and other relatives all getting their PSA and CEA and what not checked, and they have to pay for it! They will be told of stories about how people checked those markers routinely and consequently picking up the "real" cancer at an early stage! Also the worst of all, the PathLab people at the frontdesk will not only interprete the results, they also sell their "Solaray" herbal products as to increase their direct sale... totally BS!! ;(

1:32 AM  
Blogger caryn said...

yea yea.. exactly..!! i went with mom to collect the results & basically had a tough time controlling myself fr screaming when the guy kept trying to sell products, saying, "oh, X is high, you should eat this to bring it down... Y is high, eat that.... " and the absolutely priceless moment was when he said, "i know these products are expensive.. but then think about your future.. your health is more important.. " wah, what a load of crap..

8:08 AM  
Blogger PaulOS said...

Predators just out to get you.. Caryn, you should've just pull rank on them and just storm off.. tell mom and dad, hey.. let's go.. :)

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Appalling. And they can't even get the spelling right too!
Plus, how one interprets the results without knwoing the history and having done the relevant examinations is beyond me. I think healthcare in Malaysia has now degenerated to the level of an industry - we really need an independent regulator! (Going off on a tangent, I wonder how independent the MMC is...)

5:41 PM  
Blogger chwee said...

Well, at least your parents are lucky enough to have you to speak for them.With your professional training and as a physician, of course that you can quiry their "unwanted" services. How about those layman that know nothing at all in medicine line? Pitty for them.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on blessing this world with another non-thinking, non-analytical doctor. I'm sure that when people come in with complaints of severe abdominal pain that wraps around the back, you will get out your guidebook and check for gall bladder disease, ISB, reflux and other typical gastrointestinal syndromes. But you will not do a CEA or CA19-9 test because, by themselves, they are not accurate predictors of malignancy. Yep, that's true ... but an out-of-range value of a cancer marker should alert you to investigate further to preclude malignancy - to demonstrate that it is a false positive. I've known too many pancreatic cancer patients who have been treated by doctors with your attitude - only to have it diagnosed after it had metastasized. And I met one individual who demanded that the CA19-9 marker be taken because of her "general" symptoms, and she was fortunate to find pancreatic cancer when it was Stage I.

12:52 PM  
Blogger vagus said...

you need to look up the meaning of the word 'screening'. patients presenting with abdominal pain as you describe no longer fall into that category. by definition, screening implies asymptomatic populations.
in general populations one has to balance the cost (price, adverse events from more diagnostic procedures) against the benefits.
you are entitled to your thoughts. and i am entitled to mine. fortunately enough for me, evidence-based medicine is on my side, and while you seem to be relying on anecdotal experience.
i'd assume you're a surgeon or oncologist. perchance you might consider the possibility of a referral bias to explain the numbers of patients you see who had a 'positive' test.
i don't disregard these tests completely. they have their roles. but i'm certainly strongly against a generic screening test for the population.
but always interesting to hear what others think. thanks for stopping by. by the way, while i appreciate you taking the time to stop by, i take offence by your 'nonthinking' accusation.
you advocate cancer screening blood tests that the evidence has so far shown to have limited value. screening, by definition, applies to normal asymptomatic populations, ie 'everyone'. and you accuse me of 'not thinking' and 'not analyzing'?

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