Dr. Fata victim received unnecessary lifelong chemotherapy


Strong testimony today in court as the sentencing phase of cancer doctor, Farid Fata continued.  

The Oakland County oncologist is accused of overly aggressively treating patients for financial gain. He's expected to learn his punishment by the end of the week. And could be ordered  to pay millions of dollars in restitution to his victims.

There are countless patients coming forward with devastating stories.  Deena Centofanti introduces us to one man whose immune system is shot after the excessive, unnecessary treatment. 

 "I thought I was dead man walking," says victim Terry Spurlock. 

 Spurlock, 52, of Holly looks healthy, but mounds of medical documents tell a different story. In 2008 he was referred to Oncologist Farid Fata after being diagnosed with lymphoma.  Little did he know, Fata would put him on a lifetime treatment of  chemotherapy that would never end. 

"I lost every hair on my body was as bald as a baby," he says. 

Like many of Fata's victims seen here arriving at court this week to testify in his sentencing phase, Terry was given unnecessary chemotherapy.  He should have been done with chemo after 2 years. But instead, Fata made Terry believe the cancer would come back without the intense chemotherapy. 

Spurlock said, "about 2 years into it, I ask how long is it gonna last? He said lifetime. I started drinking again."

Terry quit drinking the day Fata got arrested and is sober again; however, he's also physically, financially and emotionally devastated.  That's why he has strong words of advice. 
  
"What I want to tell everyone is you have to know your doctor," he said. "Never be afraid to ask why are you giving me this drug? Know the drug you're taking."

To take control of your care when you're dealing with a cancer diagnosis , you might want to write down questions and answers at your appointment.  You can also  take a tape recorder to your doctor appointments, or bring someone to witness what the doctor is saying. 

And lastly, don't be afraid to get a second opinion.  

Here are two links to sample questions to guide you when talking to your doctor: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003285-pdf.pdf
http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/diagnosing-cancer/questions-ask-doctor


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