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Welcome to PPO

Posted on by Tony Blau in Welcome | 3 Comments

If you want to know how or why you got cancer, this is not the website for you.  This may also not be the right website if you have a cancer that is likely to be cured, and is definitely the wrong website if you want to leave the thinking about your treatment to others.  Those in search of emotional support, as important as that is, should look elsewhere.  This website is for cancer patients who know they are in trouble, yet can muster the energy and courage to think deeply about their cancer, as if their lives depended on it.  In a peculiar way, this website is for cancer enthusiasts.

If you decide to pursue the ideas described in this website I cannot promise that you will live a moment longer.  In fact ideas from this website may lead you to take risks that you would otherwise not take, possibly causing you to die sooner.  To say that our knowledge about cancer is imperfect is as understated as saying that knowledge of our galaxy is imperfect.  Nevertheless we do know some things, and the expansion of that knowledge is exploding. What this website aims for, more than anything, is to help cancer patients discover the most conceptually appealing therapeutic options for them at any given moment in time.  It is based on an abiding belief in the power of science, and endorses new research paradigms that align the interests of individual cancer patients with the interests of science.

Minimizing downside risk is a key principle of investment.   The most likely beneficiaries of this website will be those for whom the greatest downside risk comes from staying their present course or from doing nothing.  We aim to help patients minimize some downsides by foregoing treatments that appear to have a low likelihood of providing benefit, or avoiding drugs that may pose an increased risk of side effects.

I believe that the key to defeating cancer rests in fighting it to the best of our ability, one patient at a time, and learning as much as possible in the process.  If we can learn from our successes and failures in individuals we will get progressively better at treating cancer for everyone over time.  The opportunity for improving cancer treatment is vast.  How fast we improve depends largely on our approach.

At this point an informed reader might wonder: who is the author, and what planet does he think he’s on?  In view of the health care crisis, how can we possibly afford a more intensive paradigm for cancer treatment?  I believe that the strategies described here, while expensive in the beginning, will open a new path to cancer treatment that will at once be more effective and more affordable.

Although I have cared for hundreds (perhaps thousands) of cancer patients I have not had cancer myself and thus for me cancer remains, fortunately, an abstraction.  While this website describes how I imagine I would want to proceed if I had cancer myself, I acknowledge the possibility that factors that I cannot presently envision might cause me to act differently if and when my time comes.   Stated differently, I cannot know what is best for you. I would however be most grateful for your honest feedback.  It would give me much satisfaction if at least some readers find this website useful.

Seattle

February 5, 2011

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3 Comments

  • Tony,

    What a wonderful idea. I will help spread the word and wealth. Lowell Weiss is a friend of mine who helps philanthropists. I will forward this on to him.

    Best,

    Alexa

  • Tony
    Congratulations on the initiative and the amount of your Personnal time and work going into this.
    I have been speaking to some people, hoping as you, that this refined approach will make a difference in some fellow human’s lives and influence our approach to cancer care.
    Effie

  • great work