Well, I read your article and found it interesting. I've had prostate cancer since Aug.08 and was treated in Dec. 08 with brachytherapy. I had two types of cells. I had the something-else-will-kill-ya-first type and also had the medium aggressive cell structure. My PSA at time of treatment was only 2.6 and it's a good thing DRE found it or I still wouldn't know I had prostate cancer. My C & P is scheduled for the end of Sept.
But what I want to tell you about is another condition. This condition is unknown to all PCP's I've run in to, the urologist, and many so-called VA dermatological specialists. It is a condition known as erythema annulare centrifugum - EAC for short.
I contracted this condition in about Jan. of 07. It started around my right armpit, then the left one. It progressed down my inner arm to my wrists - first one and then the other. Then it moved to my abdomen -right them left, and then to my legs.
It looks like ringworm but with no center spot. Basically I got these rings on my body where the inside of the ring's skin looked just like the outside, only separated by scaled red rings.
The PCP diagnosed it as simple eczema. However, because these rings progressed in such a patterned way, I demanded a dermatologist and was sent to Great Falls (I'm in Montana), where the dermatologist confirmed the PCP's diagnosis.
Not believing either of them and having come from the Palo Alto VA healthcare system, I took time to go to California and hunted down my old dermatologist. By then some of my rings had firmed up inside and become a mass of thickened skin. My dermatologist there also overlooked the rings and went straight to the newer thick lesions. He did a biopsy that came back suspected for mycosis fungoides - T-cell lymphoma of the skin. It's neither here nor there except that this new info got me treatment at Denver's University of Colorado Health Science Center VA where the rings were finally diagnosed as EAC.
Finally with a real diagnosis, I was ecstatic! So much so that the doctor took me to the www.e-medicine.com website to read up on it. And guess what?
It turns out that EAC may be caused by supersensitivity to malignancy - particularly prostate cancer. So, to my way of thinking my cancer could have been discovered almost two years prior to when it was diagnosed. For even if the EAC wasn't the absolute clue to prostate cancer, had the VA's PCP known of the condition; and because I was an agent orange exposed vietnam vet, they could have at least started looking for some trouble someplace.
To make a long story short, Denver is supporting my contention that the EAC is likely secondary to the prostate cancer. However, Montana VA is having none of that and denied my comp claim and the appeal. So, we're going to court.
I realize that "secondary to" means they probably wouldn't be any increase in compensation; but if I can force the VA to actively instruct their PCP's about EAC, then other vets might get a leg up on a potential cancer far in advance of such things as PSA tests.
I've got some pictures if you'd like to use them or if I have garnered some interest. I hope you'll check out the web site. I think you DO have to register to get in, but I'll send the direct link to the story to you anyway.
Thanks for sharing that. The link worked.
The problem I see is that the condition may be associated with dozens of other conditions, not specifically "supersensitivity to malignancy - particularly prostate cancer". To say that EAC can even slightly predict prostate cancer is a bit like saying a mid-grade fever can be an early warning of MRSA. Yes, it can but it can also be the flu, a reaction to any number of drugs and much more.
I may be a bit more critical in my questioning because of my health care background...sorry about that.