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Cancer Warriors Wednesday - Is My Cancer Different?

It's time to expand Army of Women Wednesday to include other people and organizations of interest to cancer survivors. What drew me to the Army of Women was its use of the internet to bring about positive change. The simple brilliance of the idea grew from Dr. Susan Love's frustration that progress was slow in figuring out what causes breast cancer and how to prevent it.  When scientists told her they couldn't easily find women to be part of the studies that were needed to end this disease, she realized women weren't hiding, they simply did not know how much they were needed. From that realization, it was a short leap to create an online army of women ready to serve science.

This week, I discovered another online movement that is relevant to survivors of any type of cancer. Is My Cancer Different? was launched by GE Healthcare. It was created to educate individual patients about the benefits of molecular-level diagnostics and personalized care. The question is important because not every cancer responds to the same cookie-cutter treatment. By asking your doctor, "Is my cancer different?" you are working with your team to create an individualized treatment plan.  

Since the day I was diagnosed, I've heard it said a million times that each person's cancer experience is different. It turns out that each person's cancer is different too - on a molecular level. Asking the question takes the management of your cancer to the next level. I believe strongly that we need to be active participants in our own healing. Ask the question during your next doctor's visit. By advocating for yourself, you will get the information you need to make the best decisions you can for your health care.  

Visit the website today to watch informational videos and learn about new advancements in technology and research. You can also join the "Is My Cancer Different?" Facebook community. We all want to live long and healthy lives beyond cancer.  Knowing how best to talk to our doctors and make the right decisions is crucial to that goal.

Comments

Linda's picture

Glad you brought this issue up. Many of the high tech startups I've coached over the years have been focused on precisely this issue: how can we identify *specifically* the cancer an individual is dealing with so that we can precisely tailor the treatment, minimize the development of drug resistance and predict future behavior. Most of them are nowhere close to human trials, but thought you and your readers might like to know that personalized medicine is very much in the forefront of entrepreneurial thinking, as well as in the research hospitals and big pharma.

Plano & Simple
coach and 'yenta' for entrepreneurs

Debbie's picture

Linda:

I'm so happy to hear that this is an issue attracting creative, entrepreneurial minds.  I would love to hear more about what's coming down the pike for cancer survivors looking for truly personalized medicine.

Thanks so much for your comment!

Survival > Existence,

Debbie

 

Linda's picture

With 1 in 8 women dealing with breast cancer directly in their lives and I don't  know how many people dealing with the many other types of cancer, it's not surprising that there are many entrepreneurs who are absolutely passionate about finding more effective treatments. As you know, my father has had prostate, lung *and* colon cancer in the last dozen plus years and both you and another family member live have gone through treatment for breast cancer - if I had the training, I might be one of those entrepreneurs! 

It would be my pleasure to write some posts on the startups I have coached that are focused on cancer.  Some do personalized medicine, others have new approaches for delivering treatments directly to cancer cells, some address drug resistance, others pursue early detection. Startups are a high risk endeavor and most of them fail, but they are able to focus on a specific problem to the exclusion of almost all others, and that can make them more successful and certainly more 'nimble' than big research labs.  

I'm up to my eyeballs in cleantech companies for the next couple of weeks, but will tackle this subject soon after. I'm excited to introduce you and your readers to some of these wonderful innovators!

Linda

Plano & Simple
coach and 'yenta' for entrepreneurs

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