First of all, if this post is formatted poorly, I apologize as had some issue before where it put in new lines where they should not be, and I can't remember the solution given at that time.
I am recurrent, metastatic, and on ADT/Lupron.
I realize that everyone's experience is different, and that's been true for me -
where I lived before, the oncologist suggested I take frequent labs to track side effects of adt, and medicare covered it. (Am NOT talking here about psa or testosterone tests at all but about tests like blood counts, metabolic panels, lipids, vit d, bone markers, etc. (I am not in a hmo or medicare advantage plan)
But where I am now, none of the local oncology practices will allow patients to get these kind of tests, and they are not shy about letting patients know, starting with denying that there are side effects, to saying that no one in their practices are given labs, that because I am not on statins, I must be a healthy person (?), and other corporate kind of reasons. Am guessing its really due to incentive payments by ins cos if drs do NOT order tests or do other things. I am still on same medicare so its not an ins issue and in fact, the drs do not know which ins I have when they make the blanket refusals to order labs for any and all patients.
I am not able to leave my area, and where I live, probably true all over, one cannot change drs of same speciality within a practice, and these days there are fewer practices with all the consolidation.
The oncologists also say - ask your pcp for these tests - BUT my pcp believes that the specialists who prescribe a medication should be the ones who track the side effects via labs -- so they will not order any of these tests (and not easy to change pcps where i am since so many people in hmos need them for referrals, etc. Am guessing the pcp not want to allow the ongoing labs also might be due to the same incentives from ins cos.
Anyway, I can't afford to pay for all these tests, esp on a regular basis. I did get one blood count test which shows anemia from adt, as what happened 7 years ago during intial adt treatment before imrt, when the other dr was allowing me to have labs. But the current med onc just mentioned when i told them - its expected and then changed the subject.
I do realize this is not the case for many people and am guessing its a bell curve thing, that some drs do allow or encourage the labs and some don't. But I think I needed to vent about this,which also helps me continue to come to terms with I won't be able to have these kind of labs.
Again, sorry if the formatting here is not good.