View Full Version : Colon Cancer, how much does it cost in America?

10-19-2009, 10:42 AM
Cancer, and how much does it cost in American?
I've heard of cases where young children get cancer, and young people in their 20's, 30's, 40's and up.
It can surprise otherwise healthy and active people with no rhyme or reason as to who gets hit.
You may be hiking in the mountains, playing softball and active as all getout. But you can't plan for it.
You get your health coverage and hope for the best.
So.........Will I be able to ski this year?

Some forms of treatment call for a bug zapper.
This machine is for zapping cancer cells.

The top part rotates in a circle, Left, Top and Right.
Radiation destroys cells, and the new cells grow back cancer free.

Before they put you in the bug zapper, they take pictures of the inside of your body.
My pictures showed the happy images of a tumor that had not spread.
If it had spread, I wouldn't be smiling.
Okay, maybe I would have smile for the camera anyway.
In this picture I'm happy because I have been told, that they see the enemy and the enemy will be "taken out!"

Now I'm finding out about costs.
Roche XELODA (http://www.xeloda.com/faqs/xeloda-faqs.aspx)(capecitabine)
Chemo is six pills a day at a cost out of pocket of $144.00 per day.
6 x 500mg tablets a day.
If I pick up the same pills in the same package in Canada, it's $35.00 a day.
Same company, but charging differently depending on the country they are selling to.
The Generic can go for as little as $10.18 a day.

x120 x1 x6
(generic.CIPLA) $204 $1.70 $10.18
Costa Rica $488 $4.06 $24.38
Sweden $516 $4.30 $25.80
Norway $608 $5.07 $30.42

Mauritious (Brand) $638 $5.32 $31.89
South Africa $656 $5.47 $32.80
Ontario $720 $6.00 $36.00
Australia $743 $6.19 $37.15
Barbados $765 $6.37 $38.25
Denmark $837 $6.98 $41.85
Ontario $840 $7.00 $42.00
Guatemala $856 $7.13 $42.78
Argentina $924 $7.70 $46.20
USA $2,880 $24.00 $144.00

10-19-2009, 11:06 AM
Again, glad your doctors seem to have this under control.
The cost of prescriptions is rediculous. The pill cost to insurance is likely a great deal more than the out of the pocket expense.

10-19-2009, 11:13 AM
Those gowns are damn sexy. :)

You look great Terry.

Ian Gills
10-19-2009, 11:24 AM
If you can afford healthcare in the US Terry, which judging by the pics you can, then you have access to the best healthcare on the planet. Period. So rest well (and get better) with that in mind. The issue is whether it is worth what we pay for it. It is the best, but God it costs a lot.

For the less fortunate uninsured in America, I worry. And I am concerned about their drug costs too, although the question is always asked whether drugs will get developed at all if the cost is too low? Part of me thinks America is footing the development costs for the rest of the world. So, it's a bit of a chicken and an egg. But all Americans should have access to affordable healthcare and if that means me paying more taxes, and a few more of my Washingtonian friends being employed by the Federal Government, then so be it.

I cannot stand all this ridiculous talk in the media of if you have a risky lifestyle then you should pay more in premiums.

As someone who is overweight, why should I pay more than a skydiver or even a skier? Why should a smoker pay more than a bungee jumper? Or an electrician more than a plumber? We all take risks and insurance is supposed to spread these: something that has fundamentally been forgotten in America's insurance industry today.

But I would ask you to check whether the bug zapper has been correctly plumbed? I cannot see a vent, but perhaps it is on a septic tank.

And the sharpies have been installed upside down which is against code: Article 210 of the NEC addresses "pens with permanent ink" (as opposed to pencils or dryboard markers) and states that these must be placed "lid up" on "any grounded appliance". An exception permits sharpies to be installed without lids as long as the disconnecting means for the appliance is lockable in the "open" position.

10-19-2009, 11:35 AM
Terry, I love the choice of magazines you got there, lol.

Peter Griffin
10-19-2009, 12:46 PM
Dunno about the cost of cancer but 7 bypasses will cost you close to a million. :eek: Thank god for good health insurance.

10-19-2009, 01:01 PM
7??? Wow. And you look pretty fit here:


Peter Griffin
10-19-2009, 02:35 PM
You should a seen me two years ago :(

Peter Griffin
10-19-2009, 02:37 PM
Yo Terry, even in the hospital gown your hair is .. perrrrrrrfect. :D

Wish I still had some :mad:

10-23-2009, 11:42 AM
Cookie. Those are the doctor's magazines, not the patients. The patients have to read articles such as, "How to survive on $70.00 a week", or "Hemlock. Is it for you?" Or as Ceasar said when asked if he had eaten any of the hemlock leaves, "Ate two, bruté."

10-24-2009, 10:13 AM
The control Center for the Bug Zapper.

Cookie, thought you would like this,
A picture outside the bug zapper room.

This stuff does slow you down a bit.

master plumber mark
10-24-2009, 12:49 PM
so from what I gather,
I guess it could have been a way whole lot worse..

are they still doing the "full round" of chemo on you
or something much mildler,???


10-24-2009, 12:59 PM
are they still doing the "full round" of chemo on you
or something much mildler,???

I think it's going to be a bunch.

Ian Gills
10-24-2009, 02:10 PM
I will post a ten dollar check to you Terry if, without asking, you go into that control room and start pushing the colored buttons visible on the left of the picture.

Just start punching them, in any order.

10-24-2009, 02:24 PM
Just start punching them, in any order.

They do that already.
Sometimes you get a long buzzzzz, then a couple short ones.
Makes you wonder if they are just holding them down by hand.
Wait, that one was a little longer.

I like to think there is a method there with the big zapper hovering over me.

11-25-2009, 10:13 AM
Today's my last Radiation day, the 28th time I've been zapped.
Then I get a 4-6 week break before surgery.
So I guess that means around the first of the year for that.

By the way, how many of you guys have gone in for your standard colonoscopy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonoscopy)?
Either do a two hour visit for a routine procedure, or wait until it's something serious.
You normally do these at 50, and then every five years.
It's easy and keeps you running well.
Wait, like I did, and you're into this stuff for a year.

28 days of radiation will slow you down.
When I did a 5K run with Cathy, I was getting kind of tired.
Now it will be interesting to see what it's like to ski between the radiation and the surgery.
Skiing after the surgery will be interesting too.
So what happens if I fall on my side with the little bag?
Does that mean I will need to carry an extra shirt in my back pack?
I get the bag for six months, and then they take it out.
I will still have some time left in Summer I guess after it's removed.
I went out dancing last Thursday and Sunday.
I couldn't dance as long as I normally dance.
I'm looking forward to getting that all back though.
Fun Stuff.

11-25-2009, 10:42 AM
It looks like you have the right frame of mind, keep it up. Dance, hike and whatever as much as you can - it beats staying inside and brooding all day.

10+ years until my first colonoscopy......hopefully.

11-25-2009, 12:38 PM
It's okay to brood too Terry, I know you didn't mean anything by it Matt, but so many times people don't understand that never had to battle the beast & it can put more stress on that person. It is okay to be sad & be holed up, or mad or depressed too, it's all part of it.

11-27-2009, 08:46 AM
Try to keep things in perspective. If you had been around just 100 years ago instead of today, even if your last name was Carnegie or Rockefeller, all doctors could do for you is pump you full of morphine and watch you die.

11-27-2009, 09:35 AM
Try to keep things in perspective.

The procedure I'm up for was invented 20 years ago in Russia.
It's a nice little staple gun for connecting the colon back together again.
So twenty years ago, I would have been SOL.

Yeah, both Cookie and I would have had some worse times if this had happened sooner in this time period.

It doesn't really help much to think we would have died that much sooner though.

Cookie and I are just trying to get as much as out of this life as we can now.
I'm expecting to go another 40 years or so after this.
I didn't even know I had Cancer until two months ago.

Are you suggesting we just suck it up, get it over with and free up hospital staff and rooms for healthier people.
Those without problems?

I stil more then hold my own against healthy people.

11-27-2009, 03:22 PM
Sorry if that came out wrong. I wasn't questioning anyone's character, I was simply addressing the original topic. God speed in you recovery!

12-02-2009, 09:28 AM
Sorry if that came out wrong. I wasn't questioning anyone's character
That's what my son thought when he read your post.
Dang, a guy gets kind of sensitive when he goes through this.

Two months ago, the doctor draws a picture of a bag hanging out of my side, and I'm like,
No way I'm wanting a bag there for six months.
He just smiled and said we could talk about it later.

Okay, six weeks of Chemo and Radiation, and trying to use the bathroom with raw and tender intestines, and dude, I think I'm okay with the bag idea now.
The last couple of weeks, I've been using pain pills at night to sleep.
That's new too.
Not like it's enough to sleep all night, but I do sleep now.

12-02-2009, 09:33 AM
I've been using pain pills at night to sleep.
That's new too.
Not like it's enough to sleep all night, but I do sleep now.

Definitely not on the same level but the last time I whacked my back out (L1-L2 and L4-L5 herniated in two different directions) my doctor gave me Vicoden and said that will help with the pain and let you sleep. I asked him if he ever herniated his discs...his answer was no. I told him the meds make the pain tolerable but they don't make it go away.

He went back and gave me another prescription.

Hope things are going as well as they can Terry.

Hillbilly Man
12-02-2009, 05:02 PM
Hi there Terry,

I wanna Appollogize that I didn't make it by sooner to wish ya well.

I been holed up in the basemint makin shine since the corn harvest an bin neeglecktin my E-Mails.
Today I seen won from Redwood sayin you wuz ailin.

I'm a gonna send yur dokter some o my best corn licker fer him ta sip on when he duz yer operasun so hez got a good steady hand and duz a good job o patchin ya up.

Me an the missus will say a few words for this Sunday when we gits dressed up in ar Sunday gone ta meetin clothes and goes on down ta the church.

Yer friend,
Hillbilly Man

PS Yer scared Redwood strait. In hiz E-Mail he done toll me that he quit smokin an he made an appointmint ta see on o them dokters that has wun o them there see snake gizmos wich he shuddah done 3 years ago wen he turned 50.

12-02-2009, 05:17 PM
PS Yer scared Redwood strait. In hiz E-Mail he done toll me that he quit smokin an he made an appointmint ta see on o them dokters that has wun o them there see snake gizmos wich he shuddah done 3 years ago wen he turned 50.

Thanks Hillbilly man,
I'm glad Redwood is checking with the snake gizmo.

I'm about a year away from the corn liker though,
My intestines are pretty sensitive right now.
I get to drink things like Gatorade and jello mix, haven't had the jello mix, but it's on my okay list.
One cup of coffee, that's not on my list.
I sneak in a glass of wine every so often.
Nothing with carbonation though.

12-08-2009, 12:56 PM

ATLANTA — Colon-cancer deaths could drop dramatically in the next decade because of better screening and treatment, according to an optimistic new prediction by top researchers.

And as of 2005, about half of U.S. adults aged 50 or older had had a recommended screening, such as a colonoscopy within the last 10 years or a stool blood test within the last year.

I waited until I was 57.
Not good.
If I had gone in at 50, I would now be cancer free.
The colonoscopy was a breeze.
Knowing what I know now, I would do one every day of the week, rather then suffer what I'm going through now.
The colonoscopy itself, was easy and quick.
Normally, they can find a few things to fix, which they did with me, and caught soon enough, they send you home, and tell you to come back in five years for the next one.
It's just too easy.

Wait too long, for something to develop into a full blown tumor, and it's a whole different ballgame.

If you're fifty, just do it!

More of the report here (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2010450363_colon08.html)

Cancers of the colon and rectum, which together are the third-leading cancer killer in the United States. An estimated 50,000 people will die from it this year.

Things that contribute to colon cancer, smoking and eating red meat.
I have never smoked.
But I did love hamburgers and steak.
Since last December, I changed my diet almost completly.

Ian Gills
12-08-2009, 02:05 PM
I didn't really eat hambugers until I came here.

Now I just can't resist. It's almost a weekly fix. They are so good.

I blame the Americans.

My wife needs to have colon screening soon. She's a long way off 50 but her mum had it so she needed screening from her mid-30s.

12-09-2009, 09:46 AM

In the early morning last Saturday, while his son slept in a chair in a hospital room at the University of Washington Medical Center, Sina Tuiasosopo walked across the room, brushed the hair back from Trenton Tuiasosopo's face and whispered, "You are my hero."
There are infinite ways for a son to show his love for his father. On the eve of his final college football game, Trenton chose to sacrifice the game that once had defined his life.
Trenton surrendered his last appearance as a Husky to be with his dad, who was suffering complications from colon cancer.
More of the story (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/stevekelley/2010457177_kelley09.html)

I'm going to the same University of Washington Medical Center.

12-09-2009, 07:22 PM
Well sometimes life just isn't fair. Like my son has been battling Mono, if the blood work comes back positive again, this makes 3 times. I can't tell you how afraid I am for him. If you dont know about the EBV virus it is what causes Mono. If you tested every person with lymphoma they would test positive for the Epstein Barr Virus. I was tested and I was positive. I also had Mono when I was 13.

One of the things with cancer any cancer is the inability to keep weight on. I guess at times, I can be too thin but then, who was it that said, " you can't be too thin or too rich." Now that I got the first part down pat I am working on the latter part of being too rich.

12-10-2009, 09:22 AM
One of the things with cancer any cancer is the inability to keep weight on.

Well, I do look better now with the lost weight.

My daughter had Mono in high school,
Does that cause problems later on in life?

I'm hearing a lot about shingles now, the last reminder from a childhood decease. I think I should get shots for that. My older brother got Shingles, and my younger brother.
I don't like those odds.
That's 2 out of 7

Rich B
12-10-2009, 11:50 AM
Terry I wish you a speedy and full recovery. I'm sorry to read of what your going thru and just found this thread today. I have had a few health scares and issues to deal with and am now 62. I have benefited a great deal from this message board and thankyou personally for helping me on at least one occasion. Get well buddy......RichB

12-10-2009, 05:39 PM
Well, I do look better now with the lost weight.

My daughter had Mono in high school,
Does that cause problems later on in life?

I'm hearing a lot about shingles now, the last reminder from a childhood decease. I think I should get shots for that. My older brother got Shingles, and my younger brother.
I don't like those odds.
That's 2 out of 7

Unfortunately, yes it can. Will it? I hope not.

There are many sites in which you can read about it on.

Infectious Mononucleosis is the commonest clinical manifestation of EBV infection, either as a primary infection or due to symptomatic reactivation from latency.

However, EBV contributes to the pathogenesis of several other human diseases including:

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Hairy Leukoplakia.

I would make sure if you to discuss that shingle vaccine first, because I know with any form of lymphoma you can not take it but I am unsure about Colon. Better safe than sorry Terry, ask first.

If overweight you can look great losing weight but not at 88 pounds, like I was.

So, you can understand fully about the Mono issue, I was 13 when I had Mono and was extremely sick. When I was 21 years old and on my birthday I developed a kidney stone as an added present ( better than chemo though, lol) Well, at the hospital the doctor came over to me looking very concerned and told me I needed to follow up my bloodwork and told me he thought I had leukemia, he said he saw something in my blood. Well, I told him, it was the arthitis I had since 9 in my knees and he said, " no."

He made me promise I would seek medical attention. But, I never felt sick and thought this man was crazy. But yet I would bruise very easily.

So, I never sought medical attention for it. I discussed with my oncologist several years after being diagnosed at age 44, the conversation I had with this other doctor when I was just 21.

I heard him groan. It was the lymphoma he saw but didn't recognize it and thought it was leukemia the sister of lymphoma.

I have 2 types of lymphoma. One is indolent which is very slow growing and the other is intermidate, which is just what you would think it. It grows faster than the indolent but not as fast as aggressive like Jackie O died from.

What spared my life was 2 things. One what he probably saw was the indolent and the intermiate had not caught on yet, plus, I was in tip-top condition, a runner which I started at age 9 for my knees.

Is it related to the Mono. Terry it is. But, I am here thankfully here and I am a fighter ( ask Orange, lol) so I will be here long enough to learn how to do a flange and glue pipes together, lol. My own dad said I was the most head-strong person he ever met. Good thing too.

In reality I have had this health problem more than half my life. I am 55 now.

I have some mileage on me due to it. I got battle scars but I am proud of them.

You need to tell your daughter Terry so she knows what to watch out for. Lumps, bumps, bruising, fatique, low-grade constant fever, loss of appetite, and if she is lucky she will have one that if it is lymphoma will send her earlier to the doctor not like me.

I am truly my oncologist's poster child, lol. He is very proud of me. Your daughter just needs to know her body and recognize potential symptoms and she will be fine. My husband always volunteered to check my body for lumps & bumps. He thought I was dumb. lol.

I am a born worrier so don't be like me, I worry too much about my kids. My advice is to always look up never down.


Dunbar Plumbing
12-10-2009, 11:04 PM
My mom got shingles the same exact time David Letterman got them.

F-n brutal as well as it struck her across the face. Sometimes the pain and misery she went through bothered me more than she ever knew, knowing how much I hated to see her suffer. She didn't deserve that.

Neurotin was mandatory for comfort in that situation. It lasts weeks most times.

12-11-2009, 05:23 AM
I got Shingles last October and I am still getting Shingles off & on. It depends on your immunity system. Mine sucks. They aren't as bad as they were so this is now bearable but Shingles are absolutely horrible and extremely painful. I know your mom's pain. Anyone who can get the vaccine in my opinion SHOULD. Just tell the doctor if you have lymphoma or cancer, or been treated for any kind of cancer. The places like Walgreens and such may not know of this, or ask this and then... ooops. Their is to my knowledge other things too, for instance, you can't be allergic to eggs, I think and some others. If anyone knows the other things maybe, they could post them here. The other things you can't be allergic to when getting the Shingle vaccine.

I will post here a small picture of my back with shingles. This is not for the faint of heart. I can't even look at it, lol.

This should make those who can get the shot run for it.

Ask me if these hurt ...

12-11-2009, 05:31 AM
If you got something that looks like these, you could have Shingles. The first picture is actually from when they were drying up. The long red thing though, in the second picture about the icky looking stuff is one of my battle scars. The rest I thought at first was from a new laundry soap I started using. Not so. Shingles.

The most interesting fact is this. You get Shingles wherever you had the chicken pox at on your body. I never knew I had chicken pox so I can't say for sure at all where mine was at, I must had been very young. And, the Shingle virus, which it is, lives in the base of your spine and something activates it.

12-11-2009, 05:56 AM
Yes! My son's doctor just called and it is not mono again.
Now I can go to work in peace and not worry as much.