VA treatment

Regarding the treatment at our local VA Hospital and clinic and in response to the recent letter praising both of these facilities for their wonderful care: I am a Vietnam vet and have been using the local clinic in Williamsport for many years for simple matters, such as my annual physical, flu shots, blood pressure check, blood work, etc. I have always received good treatment and everyone has been very nice. However, this clinic is only for very minor treatments such as these mentioned.

When I learned my PSA count was accelerated, I was sent to the VA Hospital in Wilkes-Barre for consultation regarding further testing and treatment. Well, they merely gave me an antibiotic for 10 days to see if my count would go down. They put me through this treatment several times, doing nothing more in testing, which seemed to me to be an indication that there probably was a prostate problem. It was always a different doctor in Wilkes-Barre.

Finally, when I pointed out at the local clinic just what they were doing and I indicated that I was not satisfied with how they were handling my treatment, they made me yet another appointment with a supposed specialist in prostate cancer in Wilkes-Barre to discuss possible testing to include biopsy and/or other treatment.

This particular doctor was so extremely rude, he actually embarrassed me in his examination of me. But he was even more rude to my wife, in fact downright nasty. He even told her not to talk or ask questions, that he would not talk to her, and that she basically had no business being there. We were both dumbfounded. All he was going to do was nothing except make me another appointment for about six months down the road. He did not do any testing at all, nor even set up any testing for the future, so they were once again just putting me off and not intending to try to find out what I was dealing with.

My wife insisted I should come back to Williamsport to see one of our local urologists. Since I had seen Dr. Rockoff many years ago for a different problem, I immediately made an appointment with him. He performed a biopsy and found that I indeed had prostate cancer. He discussed options and after all thought and considerations, we scheduled surgery as soon as was possible. All is well now and it did not spread outside the prostate in my case. If I had continued to allow the Wilkes-Barre doctors to put me off, doing nothing, I might have found myself in the same condition of that gentleman with Stage 4 prostate cancer with little hope of survival.

Perhaps it depends on what department you are dealing with over there in Wilkes-Barre, I don’t really know. But I suggest if you are being put off at all, then please go to someone else in private practice.

John Lannan

South Williamsport