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The difference that everyone should be aware between “Opinion” and “Medical Advice”

Charles (Chuck) Maack

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We often note that someone or some organization remark “We do not give medical advice”  or “We cannot give medical advice.” Yet, then as we read what is provided in subsequent information does appear as “medical advice.” 

Important to note is that there is a distinction between “opinion” and “medical advice.”  It is not unreasonable to expect that with deep research and study and the review of multitudes of successful treatments performed by physicians that “opinions” can be formed as to the reliability of that information.  What is reasonable to expect from a person or organization passing on that information, particularly when not accompanied by reference material, is prefacing any suggestions or recommendations made to a patient or anyone else that the medical information provided IS “opinion” that should be reviewed further, then discussed with one’s treating physician.  In my position as having chosen to be a mentor to help patients and their caregivers to better understand their condition based on their diagnostics, treatment already performed, and treatment planned, I recognized the importance of separating my “opinion” from “medical advice” by developing the following as my “disclaimer’ so the recipient understood this important difference:

 DISCLAIMER: Please recognize that I am not a Medical Doctor.  Rather, as a medical detective, I have been an avid student researching and studying prostate cancer as a survivor and continuing patient since 1992. I have dedicated my retirement years to continued research and study in order to serve as an advocate for prostate cancer awareness, and, from an activist patient’s viewpoint, to voluntarily help patients, caregivers, and others interested develop an understanding of prostate cancer, its treatment options, and the treatment of the side effects that often accompany treatment.  There is absolutely no charge for my mentoring – I provide this free service as one who has been there and hoping to make your journey one with better understanding and knowledge than was available to me when I was diagnosed so many years ago.  IMPORTANTLY, readers of this paper must understand that the comments or recommendations I make are not intended to be the procedure to blindly follow; rather, they are to be reviewed as my opinion, then used for further personal research, study, and subsequent discussion with the medical professional/physician providing your prostate cancer care.

Charles (Chuck) Maack - Prostate Cancer Patient/Activist/Mentor

(A mentor should be someone who offers courtesy, professionalism, respect, wisdom, knowledge, and support to help you achieve your goals; would that I succeed)

 Always as close as the other end of your computer to help address any prostate cancer concerns.

 "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

 “A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you will remember. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”

 “Sepius Exertus, Semper Paratus, Semper Fortis, Semper Fidelis, Fraters Infinitas”

“Often tested, Always Prepared, Always Courageous, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"


Recipient 2008 Us TOO Intl., Inc., Prostate Education & Support Network 1st “Edward C. Kaps Hope Award”

Recipient 2012 Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) “Harry Pinchot Award”

Recipient 2016 Us TOO Intl., Inc. Certificate for 20 Years Dedication/Inspiration


Email: maack1@cox.net

My website http://www.theprostateadvocate.com


In my Lord I put my trust…

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The important preface I always try to include is simply .... "If it were me/ if my choice, I would ...... "


Thank G-d, to date I have never had anyone come back at me or any patient advocate I know .... how about you, Chuck?

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To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever found fault with the suggestions I may have provided them to research further, come to their own conclusion, then discuss with their treating physician.  The disclaimer I add to most every email I may respond to a patient or that accompanies the many papers I have authored or compiled on the "Observations" webpage of my personal website www.theprostateadvocate.com directs the person reading to the understanding that I AM NOT a Medical Doctor, then goes on to explain why I am involved at all in prostate cancer advocacy, activism, and as a Mentor.  Additionally, among the papers on that "Observations" webpage is an explanation as what I cannot help but what motivates me and what had to have been the reason I developed medical understanding when my background over my main adult years had been in communications intelligence during my career in the United States.  This explanation is provided here - if this url does not open, please copy and paste elsewhere then try again:




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I just noticed I left out "Navy."  .......communications intelligence during my career in the United States Navy!  And I might add, as a Master Chief Cryptologic Technician.

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Charles (Chuck) Maack.

This is a great post - most inspiring and and an excellent guide to those of us  involved in responding to questions from members of Prostate cancer support groups at a local level.

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