Newly Diagnosed with Cancer? Where do you go from here? Part III
Below are a few more things to consider after you have been diagnosed with cancer. It is usually best to seek second or even multiple opinions especially on an initial course of therapy (if there is not a medical emergency) or if there is any reason to believe that the initial course of action is not well-established. In other words, is there wide consensus on the treatment being offered?
You should also seek to understand the odds of success: what are the chances of a therapy putting your cancer into complete remission, or obtaining a partial response or stable disease? How long will that state likely last?
Assessing the validity of the information you will hear is not easy. Lots of folks will be trying to help you! There are those on the web who are promoting all sorts of cures, whose authenticity is hard to verify. Cancer is big business and any information you learn will have built-in biases. Your caregivers will have theirs. They may have relationships with drug companies, and so they may want to promote studies sponsored by these companies. They may be very conservative, only willing to treat you with protocols that are evidence-based, which typically means those that have shown efficacy in Phase III studies. They may not wish to prescribe based upon a Phase II study (assuming the medicines are already approved) even though the outcomes of the Phase II study may be quite impressive. They are likely not to treat based upon case reports or preclinical data, even if all options have been exhausted or are close to being exhausted; this becomes especially important if the drugs in question are available but are not being used for cancer. We are referring here to off-label use which is an option that physicians legally have and will typically exercise if the data is compelling enough i.e. in the form of Phase III studies. The question here is whether a physician under certain circumstances will be willing to use medications off-label when the evidence is less compelling.
We at GlobalCures feel they should be willing to consider such options, weighing carefully the risks and benefits in each individual case. We pride ourselves on having an open mind, a willingness to think outside of the proverbial box and to examine the data carefully, always keeping you, the patient, at the center of all we inform you about. At all times, we ask a simple question: if this were one of us, would we consider this?
GlobalCures has the resources you need:
Expand your knowledge base through our FIND program: learn about promising treatment options and take this information to your caregivers
Use SHARE to donate your clinical data, so that you and others like you can learn what works and what does not
Please donate to FUND clinical trials