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Well-known cancer doctor faces medical board

Some people in Arizona may have followed the career of a cancer doctor named Stanislaw Burzynski who has been featured in documentaries and praised by celebrities. The doctor uses a number of unconventional approaches to treat cancer even though he is not trained as an oncologist. His critics believe that his methods can be deadly, and he is now facing a medical board that is considering taking away his license.

This is not the first time he has been called before a medical board or grand jury. The hearings in this case began in November 2015, and the Texas Medical Board says that Burzynski overcharged patients, misled them about treatment and made errors in record-keeping and interpreting tests.

Burzynski ran a clinic in which he promised patients a treatment with drugs known as antineoplastins. He ran several clinical trials with FDA approval using the sodium-rich drugs, and at least six of his patients died from too much sodium in the blood. As it became more difficult to enroll patients in the study, he invited people to his clinic to participate in the study and when they failed to qualify, as many did, placed them on high doses of chemotherapy drugs that experts say were unsafe amounts.

People facing serious or terminal illnesses may be tempted to try little-tested or alternative therapies. While there may be clinical trials they can participate in that are legitimate and closely monitored, in other cases, they may end up being treated by a careless or unscrupulous medical professional. This can be both expensive and damaging to their health. Medical malpractice also occurs in more conventional settings such as hospitals. Errors such as missed diagnoses or a failure to treat infections may happen. In such instances, patients or their families may want to contact an attorney to discuss filing a medical malpractice suit.

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