In 2015, around 385,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in mainland France, according to data from the League Against Cancer. Despite the frequency of the disease, nobody is prepared to receive this kind of announcement. Hearing the words “You have cancer” is frightening and overwhelming. The decision making in this kind of moment is particularly difficult.
This is why a team of researchers from Harvard Business School in the United States has worked on four stages that all people with cancer can go through to better cope with their disease.
The first piece of advice for researchers to follow is to consult a specialized oncologist in your type of cancer. A well-conducted expertise can make all the difference. Do not hesitate to consult several specialists, and to ask associations for help to find the right addresses.
Do the right tests
In addition to the usual tests used to diagnose cancer, ask your doctor if it is possible to sequence the genome of your tumor, advise the researchers cited by the Time. Tumor genome sequencing analyzes the DNA of your cancer cells looking for genetic mutations carcinogens and other molecular abnormalities. This information can be used to suggest the most effective treatment possible, whether it is an existing drug or a drug being studied in a clinical trial.
Find a treatment
Once cancer is diagnosed, especially if it is the first time, doctors offer to follow the standard of care. This is a treatment that is widely accepted as the best approach to fight the disease. Failure to obtain the standard of care can have serious and even fatal consequences. For many people, especially in rare or advanced cancers, who do not receive any standard of care, treatment through a clinical trial may be the best treatment option. Be sure to ask your doctor which clinical trials might be right for you.
Share your data
Many patients choose to share their health data, including sequencing data and other information, with the medical research community. Pooling and analysis of even a small amount of data can generate new discoveries that could have an impact on your care and improve the lives of future patients. Ask associations and health professionals for more information.