“Taking Control of Your Healthcare” now published

New Book on Healthcare

Well folks, it’s finally here! To tell you the truth, I did have my doubts that the book would ever get published. I started writing it in September of 2008 and got it to the publisher in late Spring 2009. I thought it would be all down hill from there, but to my surprise the real work was just beginning. My editor had other ideas on how the book should be laid out; so began an editorial review which lasted about four months. I believe I have five different drafts of the book on my hard drive. However, I really believe the final product is so much better than the one I originally submitted that is was certainly worth all the stress and effort. I hope all of you agree that it is truly helpful in providing critical information so you and your loved ones can get the right care from your provider.

The idea for writing this book came to me after decades of helping friends and relatives with questions they had about their healthcare. For over 35 years I helped men facing prostate cancer, women with breast cancer, and people worried about whether the drugs they are taking are safe and useful. The first person that needed my assistance was my dad. I was in Europe giving a talk on diabetes when dad was admitted to the hospital after receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer. He was scheduled for surgery the day after I arrived home. I found out from my eight year old daughter that grandpa was in the hospital, and after talking to dad asked him to postpone the surgery send me the slides from his biopsy so my colleagues in the pathology department could give a second opinion. I reassured dad that prostate is a slow growing disease and waiting a few days for surgery wouldn’t be detrimental. A second opinion is essential before undergoing any elective surgery, especially cancer surgery. Why is it so important? As I explain in the book, you want a pathologist with many years of experience to examine your biopsy. It’s kind of like surgery-you wouldn’t want a surgeon to operate on you unless he’s an expert in the procedure that you are having,  and likewise you wouldn’t want a pathologist who hasn’t looked at thousands of prostate biopsies to make your diagnosis. The consequences of a wrong diagnosis are bad: surgery which is unnecessary that could leave you incontinent, impotent, or dead. Thankfully, dad agreed to have another opinion. Indeed, he had 12 opinions.  Twelve pathologists in my department examined his biopsy and none could find any cancer. Dad had his biopsy repeated every 6 months for years. It was negative each time. He remained cancer free until his death from heart disease 30 years later. You’re wondering how in heavens name this could happen? As I explain in the book, this happens all too frequently because there are doctors out there who have no business rendering a life and death diagnosis because they don’t have the experience to do so. You just have to find the right one. If you have my book on hand you will have the information you need to get smart and be informed about your health so you can make sure you’re getting the right care, including how to get that second opinion.

The book really puts an emphasis on helping you prevent and manage disease. Our healthcare system is terrific treating diseases but does a miserable job in preventing or intervening in the disease process. I cannot tell you how many times I  have had patients with diabetes tell me that they didn’t realize that just by having the disease they were at increased risk for having heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and blindness. Most believed that as long as they controlled their blood sugar everything would be fine. Their doctor never told them that they needed to  have their blood pressure checked, their cholesterol measured, or their urine examined for protein. In fact, overall people in the USA only get about half of the care they should to manage their disease. My book tells you what care is recommended by the experts to help prevent and manage diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

What is especially helpful is that the book contains hundreds of helpful web sites that are listed under each condition providing you with the latest recommendations from experts in their fields. The book is intended to be used as a tool to help you partner with your doctor so you receive the right care, not to replace your doctor. For example, if you have diabetes and go into the doctors office for an annual exam, you want to ask how is my blood pressure? How is my cholesterol? Are my kidneys ok? Do my eyes look good? Are there any other medications I should be taking? These questions will focus the doctors attention on you, the patient.

More Information

To order a copy of the book, visit the Taking Control of Your Healthcare (book) page. I believe you and your loved ones will find it very helpful. It will certainly help you get the right care.

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