'Double Dare' Host Marc Summers Reveals His Bout with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia): Lessons, Errors and Omissions
Be warned that the video does have some mildly risqué language.
There are so many things wrong with this story, I almost feel it's as if it is one of those WACKY WEDNESDAY cartoons where you need to pick out all the problems.
To name a few:
Chemotherapy? Seems he had rituximab which is a biological immunotherapy, not really chemo.
His first doctor wanted to "blast him full of chemo and radiation" and a second told him that "he had just six months left? "That is so scary that it doesn't even deserve comment. Good on him for getting a third opinion.
PET scans yearly time five years? No indication for CT scans most of the time in CLL, let alone a PET scans.
Cured with single agent rituximab? That would be a miraculous and publishable result. Cures in CLL to this point have only be possible with a high risk bone marrow transplant.
Which brings me to the last and least concerning point: understandable confusion re: bone marrow biopsy versus bone marrow transplant. To his credit, Marc did help straighten that out.
Since he seems that he never saw a true dedicated CLL expert, I have to wonder if he ever had a FISH test and whether he ever really needed treatment. It would make sense that his disease profile was pretty indolent to respond so dramatically to only rituxan.
But there also are some excellent lessons from this cautionary tale.
The biggest take away message is that we all need to get a second and sometimes a third opinion.
And we must always be our own strongest advocates and push to get the best possible care.
And I do so appreciate Marc Summers coming out of the cancer closet. I understand why it made sense for him to keep quiet when in show business, but that's a bit sad that we live in such a prejudiced world.
We find out about most celebrity's CLL in their obituary, so I salute his bravery and the good work he is doing getting the word out.