Monday, 28 October 2013

Patient Experience with Dr Hochman in Florida, RT for Ledderhose

Today I am taking information both from the following post (with Permission from Author) and also from conversations I have had with this patient in order to form a post to go with the interview I have done with Dr Hochman. I personally have had contact with many specialists, particularly those doing radiotherapy and for the most part they do the same treatment or at least get the same results and therefore I think that the other important factor when going into getting treatments is the doctor. I am not going to name any names but I can think of a clear example where the way that the doctor treated me made the difference, 2 doctors basically sent me abrupt e-mails and were almost treating me like a customer, the other answered in detail and offered to phone me, I know who I chose and so here is some of that information on Dr Hochman. 

Dr. Lawrence Hochman met this patient at the Florida Cancer Affiliates and it sounds like the patient was treated well and felt like she could take her time and ask questions at will. It is always good when the doctor is not trying to rush you and is willing to explain the treatment you might be having to you and what are the benefits and drawbacks.  He included the risk with radiotherapy, such as increased risk of cancer and also the less serious issue of dry skin on the treated area.

Dr Hochman was able to fit this patient in straight away, I know in the UK the lead time is about 2 weeks with Dr Shaffer (personal correspondence). I guess no lead time at all  is a good thing as if the patient wants to think about it then they can but if they want immediate treatment it is available to them. I did however think, through personal correspondence with RT doctors, that the shielding for Electron beam took longer to set up  than that but I guess not. 

The patient found Dr Hochman to be able to answer her questions on the subject and then they set about marking out the diseased area. They found the lumps and then put a safe margin around the area to ensure that they do not miss any diseased tissue, of course this does not stop it from appearing elsewhere but the chances of it coming back in the area treated are greatly reduced. As you would expect the radiation team were all very professional and mentioned that Dupuytren's was more commonly treated than Ledderhose. The Dr actually pointed out that the patients brother had Dupuytren's, looks like there might be a genetic link to the condition in this case. 

It is normally at this point that you are passed over to the radiation team, these are the people that set up the equipment, tell you what is going on and ensure that you get the right dose. The above patient informs me that the staff working at this hospital were very good at keeping her updated throughout the process so that she always felt she knew what was going on, at the same time they were efficient at their jobs but she did not feel like she was being rushed through. The team, using the marking put in place by the doctor, created a lead plate to shield the rest of the foot and calibrated the equipment to give the correct dose. Actual treatment time was under 10 minutes per day.  

Overall the patient was very pleased with the doctor and his team, for more details click on the original link above where other details such as cost and other treatments she has tried are outlined.