Friday, July 26, 2013

Death Rays or Knife-Wielding Robots

We are truly living in the world of science fiction. Sure we don’t have flying cars or nutritionally sound meal-in-a-pill capsules yet, but in many ways, we’re the Jetsons. (Remember, when that show was created in the 1960’s, “jet” still sounded like pretty advanced technology.)

One way I know this is by the choices I have for treatment of my prostate cancer: knife-wielding robots or death rays. Of course, health care professionals refer to these choices as surgery and radiation, but let’s not mince words.

The surgery is often done robotically. The doctor sits at a console and basically plays a 3D video game version of the old board game Operation. The doctor’s movements control mechanical arms with little clamps, scalpels, etc. on the ends, to pull the little plastic prostate piece out of its little plastic well, hopefully without triggering the buzzer and making the patient's nose light up.

The radiation, on the other hand, can be controlled by computer models of the prostate, or by 3D imaging, to completely fry the prostate while barely putting the surrounding tissue on defrost.

Note that the computers haven’t completely taken over yet. All of these procedures are overseen and controlled by highly qualified medical personnel who, hopefully unlike the cast of Gray’s Anatomy, spent their medical school and internship years learning and acquiring skills instead of rutting like rabbits.

So now it’s up to me to choose … robots or rays.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha! Funny. Even as I consider the exact same choices.
And am gonna rip off your wording - with attribution - to use in the upcoming consults.
Laughter is good medicine!