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Old 29.09.2016, 12:16
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Cancer test and treatment options

Hi all. Have just heard that my Father has lost 22kg in 8 weeks; a quarter of his original weight. His UK doctor has only just decided this is worrying, and is in the process of organising a specialist referral and CT scan.


I've just been able to speak to the district nurse, who volunteered that the blood results taken 2 weeks ago indicate cancer is likely. She's not sure why the GP isn't being more open about this. The NHS booking isn't for another 2 weeks. The nurse tells me that even if I pay for a private specialist now, I'll still have the same wait time.


Anyways, I'm thinking to just fly FIL here and pay for the Swiss to test him, and treat him. Appreciate the costs could be massive, but every day that ticks by is another day that cuts out any treatment options.


Does anyone know if this is feasible, and/or have any experience with taking this approach?


Thanks in advance.
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Old 29.09.2016, 12:23
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

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Hi all. Have just heard that my Father has lost 22kg in 8 weeks; a quarter of his original weight. His UK doctor has only just decided this is worrying, and is in the process of organising a specialist referral and CT scan.


I've just been able to speak to the district nurse, who volunteered that the blood results taken 2 weeks ago indicate cancer is likely. She's not sure why the GP isn't being more open about this. The NHS booking isn't for another 2 weeks. The nurse tells me that even if I pay for a private specialist now, I'll still have the same wait time.


Anyways, I'm thinking to just fly FIL here and pay for the Swiss to test him, and treat him. Appreciate the costs could be massive, but every day that ticks by is another day that cuts out any treatment options.


Does anyone know if this is feasible, and/or have any experience with taking this approach?


Thanks in advance.
I can't help on the treatment front, but I think you should do what you deem best. Is there a way to contact an oncologist specialist here in CH to discuss your idea?

Even if you can't help your FIL improve his physical health by flying him here, it might help him and you emotionally. But make sure it doesn't worsen his physical state before attempting this.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and wish you all the best!
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Old 29.09.2016, 12:34
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

You might approach the Krebsliga (Cancer League). They coordinate all sorts of services to do with cancer.
https://www.krebsliga.ch/
Their website is in German, French and Italian. Even if you happen not to command any of those, you could write to them in English, or phone and ask if anyone could speak to you in English.

I wish you strength, and commend you for wanting to get involved and help!
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Old 29.09.2016, 12:52
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

Good luck, hope it will all go well!
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Old 29.09.2016, 12:54
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

Good luck.
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Old 29.09.2016, 12:54
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

So long as you have the money, it's entirely feasible. Good luck.
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Old 29.09.2016, 12:56
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

I think I would try in a private hospital in England because depending what sort of cancer he has and what the treatment is (it might be a couple of months treatment)I just got the bill from 8 weeks of chemo and radio therapy 60000fr and every 3 monthes an mri is about 3000.
Apart from the money you want to be in your home when all this is happening.
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Old 29.09.2016, 13:05
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

Very sorry to hear that. NHS can take an age for a referral and a scan. I would wait and see what time frame he's looking at before an appointment before deciding on anything. Meanwhile, you can inquire here where it is possible to have him checked out.

Prices for a scan and consultation aren't too bad, so if the waiting time is long then it could be worth your while to get a diagnosis here. Waiting times here are virtually non existent. For any treatment I would recommend that to be done in the UK as the price would be astronomic in Switzerland. Fingers crossed and good luck.
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Old 29.09.2016, 13:22
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

Our 45 year old son has just been treated for bladder cancer, at three different NHS hospitals, all belonging to the same trust. Everyone is very happy with the treatment and he is now, D.G. clear after the 3rd cystoscopy. Although one hears awful things mentioned regarding the NHS, our experience was that it is good, so it seems that that same old "post code lottery" is in practice here. Where does your FIL live. Perhaps we could help you with the benefit of our son's treatment. Please let us know, as we understand what you are going through. Hopefully you will be able to come to the right decision.
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Old 29.09.2016, 13:28
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

Also not to be underestimated is that it makes a big diffrence if you can talk and understand Dr. and nurses etc.
Doing just the scan here isnt worth it, I spoke to a hospital in London about my treatment and they said I would have to got there to do all new scans etc. as all my records were in German and they couldnt use them.
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Old 29.09.2016, 13:30
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

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Also not to be underestimated is that it makes a big diffrence if you can talk and understand Dr. and nurses etc.
Doing just the scan here isnt worth it, I spoke to a hospital in London about my treatment and they said I would have to got there to do all new scans etc. as all my records were in German and they couldnt use them.
You can ask them to fill everything out in English. This normally isn't a problem.
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Old 29.09.2016, 13:46
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

speak to macmillan
https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

before you do anything rash like bringing FIL our here, as he has been tested and the results are not looking good then everything should happen pretty quickly in the UK now. If not see if you can book a private appointment with the consultant in the uk, once they confirm you'll be back in the NHS and things will move, his Dr should be able to tell you who the consultant will be and where there private practice is.

the NHS can (and do) get funny about taking over treatments from other countries etc

Do you really want your FIL staying here for upto 2 years? or having to fly back here every 2 weeks, then fly back to the UK while feeling crappy then crap? then of course there is the 6 monthly checkups after treatment has finally stopped (then 2 year, 5 year etc)

And thats before he has even looked at getting any kind of travel insurance

good luck
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Old 29.09.2016, 13:58
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

I've been treated in Switzerland for my cancer for the last 4 years, and whilst the NHS can be great for some things if I had stayed in the UK I'd probably be dead. I have various invoices for treatment, surgery, hospital stay and scans.

A CT of chest and abdomen is probably going to run to around 400CHF and an MRI about the same, various blood tests probably around 300CHF and around 300CHF for a consultation.

I had a 6 hour complex surgery with time in ICU and 3 week hospital stay and from memory around 100k CHF.

I would highly recommend going to St. Gallen (www.kssg.ch) as they are large hospital and a phase 1 trial centre.
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Old 29.09.2016, 14:00
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

You have to consider that your dad will feel like a fish out of the water here. Not so much if it's only for a scan, but if he has to spend a significant amount of time away from all his familiar places and people, better do it where his home is.
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Old 29.09.2016, 14:09
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

Hi, just a some more resources if you do want to try CH in the end, there is a clinic:

https://www.hirslanden.ch/global/en/...irslanden.html

They have very good English communication via email, their price is about 500CHF to look over results from a different country, probably ~2K CHF for a full in person diagnosis.

Good luck, head up, the attitude you have to take control of this is the right way, modern medicine works miracles!
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Old 29.09.2016, 14:15
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

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You have to consider that your dad will feel like a fish out of the water here. Not so much if it's only for a scan, but if he has to spend a significant amount of time away from all his familiar places and people, better do it where his home is.

Totally agree with this - hard for you to feel useless not being near him, but truly FB makes total sense. 2 weeks' wait in the scale of things is not long at all. Would you be able to get time off from your work, even unpaid- and be with him for next few weeks, or fly there every week-end for a while.

Bonne chance. The NHS is oft criticised, but in an emergency I for one would rather be where I can communicate with all staff and have family and friends nearby, in familiar surroundings.

Depends also very much on his age, the type of cancer (some of them are much more aggressive than others - also partly depending on age) and how much HE HIMSELF would like to travel and how comfortable he is with change, etc,etc,
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Old 29.09.2016, 14:17
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

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Our 45 year old son has just been treated for bladder cancer, at three different NHS hospitals, all belonging to the same trust. Everyone is very happy with the treatment and he is now, D.G. clear after the 3rd cystoscopy. Although one hears awful things mentioned regarding the NHS, our experience was that it is good, so it seems that that same old "post code lottery" is in practice here. Where does your FIL live. Perhaps we could help you with the benefit of our son's treatment. Please let us know, as we understand what you are going through. Hopefully you will be able to come to the right decision.
Ah yes, the postcode lottery. He is in Chatham, Kent. His local hospital is woefully understaffed - I spent 8 months watching the issues there when his wife underwent various treatments and eventually died 5 years ago. I suspect this is also an instance of age - FIL is 84 years old, and up until this week the GP was assuring him that the weight loss was just part of getting older! I'm too angry to talk with the local GP at this point - it turn out that FIL has been seeing him every couple of weeks for the last 2 months complaining of upset stomach and toileting issues, and 22 missing kg later, FIL is struggling to walk and eat and even to bathe himself; and the doc has finally woken up that there might be a problem! Up until 2 months ago FIL was zooming about like a sprightly chicken. Even nipping up our Swiss mountains on visits here and putting me to shame.


Anyways, very glad to hear your son is doing so well. I fly into the UK tomorrow, will try and accelerate access to a specialist, and will absolutely PM you if any chance I can tap into your unfortunately accumulated knowledge of the NHS. Thanks!
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Old 29.09.2016, 14:25
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

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Ah yes, the postcode lottery. He is in Chatham, Kent. His local hospital is woefully understaffed - I spent 8 months watching the issues there when his wife underwent various treatments and eventually died 5 years ago. I suspect this is also an instance of age - FIL is 84 years old, and up until this week the GP was assuring him that the weight loss was just part of getting older! I'm too angry to talk with the local GP at this point - it turn out that FIL has been seeing him every couple of weeks for the last 2 months complaining of upset stomach and toileting issues, and 22 missing kg later, FIL is struggling to walk and eat and even to bathe himself; and the doc has finally woken up that there might be a problem! Up until 2 months ago FIL was zooming about like a sprightly chicken. Even nipping up our Swiss mountains on visits here and putting me to shame.


Anyways, very glad to hear your son is doing so well. I fly into the UK tomorrow, will try and accelerate access to a specialist, and will absolutely PM you if any chance I can tap into your unfortunately accumulated knowledge of the NHS. Thanks!

ah ok, medway hospital sucks and is special measures at the moment, but still go down the private consultant route, once they sign off it all goes back to the nhs and things happen (done this twice before)
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Old 29.09.2016, 14:32
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

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speak to macmillan
https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

before you do anything rash like bringing FIL our here, as he has been tested and the results are not looking good then everything should happen pretty quickly in the UK now.

Thanks. You raise good points as do other posters on location.


I am thinking of bringing him to Switzerland as way to speed up knowing what the heck is going wrong with FIL.


It's taken 2 weeks to get blood results back and a further appointment with the GP to view them, and he won't commit to the findings, stating that they are inconclusive and more tests are needed. The district nurse today however was candid in stating that cancer has been indicated from the blood tests.


FIL will have to wait another 2 weeks for the CT scan appointment and further tests. Now we're talking about 4 wasted weeks with no interventions, and at the rate he is losing weight weekly, FIL cannot afford that time.


If I think he's up to it when I fly into the UK tomorrow, I'm getting his ass on a plane here to Switzerland - from the advice of other posters I've found an oncology specialist who is happy to meet FIL on Monday!
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Old 29.09.2016, 14:36
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Re: Cancer test and treatment options

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Ah yes, the postcode lottery. He is in Chatham, Kent. His local hospital is woefully understaffed - I spent 8 months watching the issues there when his wife underwent various treatments and eventually died 5 years ago. I suspect this is also an instance of age - FIL is 84 years old, and up until this week the GP was assuring him that the weight loss was just part of getting older! I'm too angry to talk with the local GP at this point - it turn out that FIL has been seeing him every couple of weeks for the last 2 months complaining of upset stomach and toileting issues, and 22 missing kg later, FIL is struggling to walk and eat and even to bathe himself; and the doc has finally woken up that there might be a problem! Up until 2 months ago FIL was zooming about like a sprightly chicken. Even nipping up our Swiss mountains on visits here and putting me to shame.


Anyways, very glad to hear your son is doing so well. I fly into the UK tomorrow, will try and accelerate access to a specialist, and will absolutely PM you if any chance I can tap into your unfortunately accumulated knowledge of the NHS. Thanks!
Whenever I read about experiences it makes me wonder how people can refer to the NHS as the envy of the world with a straight face . OK, in this situation it sounds like one useless GP, but even the most useless of GPs should have picked up something sooner.

At age 84 and with the struggles to walk and eat that you mentioned, it's probably not a good idea to bring him over to Switzerland. Probably better to go down the private route in the UK.
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