Health Care

Unlicensed doctor arrested after diagnosing patients with cancer

Unlicensed doctor arrested after diagnosing patients with cancer”

Sarasota police are cracking down on unlicensed doctors on the Suncoast.

Ronald E. Wheeler, 70, of the 800 block of Boulevard of the Arts, was arrested Thursday, two days after Sarasota police raided his offices on a search warrant.

According to some of the complaints, Wheeler would tell patients they had a very aggressive form of cancer and that the only treatment was one he could do in his office.

Instead of using the standard approved practice of biopsies, which can be painful, he would use the experimental MRI machine to detect the cancer. The procedure, which uses ultrasound waves to melt away cancerous prostate cells, wasn't approved in America until late 2015. The department is asking anyone who may have been a patient of Wheeler's to contact them immediately.

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Patients found him on the internet and would fly from all over the country to meet him.

The FDOH received four complaints about Wheeler. At least one patient was misdiagnosed.

Despite the license revocation, the Sarasota Police Department says he was still practicing.

Wheeler charged the officer $3,445 for the visit and suggested a high-intensity ultrasound treatment, for which he had an office next door, that would cost $50,000. After securing medical documents that showed Wheeler had treated patients after April 20, the SPD sent undercover detectives to pose as patients seeking medical treatment for prostate cancer July 20. Since then, investigators say he has treated anywhere between 4 and 12 patients.

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