Find Out Why Standard Cancer Care in Canada is Just Not Good Enough…
I hear this all the time – and I bet it’s on your mind, too:
“So is this what our medical plan has come to? People with money can afford better, faster cancer care than people with no money??”
And it’s sadly true…
We’re working to change this at CTOAM. It is our #1 mission, in fact!
But what we’ve learned over the past 10 years is…
In order to create change, you also need to deal with the situation as it is now.
As in: you need to work within the current system AND outside of it.
It’s the only way to actually build a better future.
What I’ve Learned About Standard Cancer Care
Let me explain more. Because, believe me, it’s taken me many years to actually understand this stuff.
Years of feeling confused as heck about what was up with our Canadian healthcare system.
Years of feeling frustrated and shocked at the lack of follow-through from supposedly top-notch docs, misplaced documents, far too long wait times, poor treatment plans, crappy diagnostics, and overall lack of respect for patients’ time and emotional energy…
Until I started to learn the “WHY” of it all.
Why on earth our healthcare system is so far from perfect:
It’s doing the best it can…and, sadly, it’s not close to good enough.
I’ll try to give you a bigger picture…
Canadian public healthcare – especially where cancer is concerned – is ranked around 23rd in the developed world, which is not great.
How Decisions in Standard Cancer Care Are Made
Decisions for which tests and treatments to offer the public are based largely on budgetary and logistic limitations – NOT on what’s best for the individual patient.
The main factors for choosing the tests & treatments that standard care offers are:
🔹 Which ones cost the least
🔹 And which of those provide some benefit to the largest number of people…
As you can probably guess, this is NOT precision medicine.
And it’s not personalized cancer care.
It’s lightyears away from the best cancer care that’s actually available right now (if you know how to find it, like we do at CTOAM).
The Good Things About Standard Cancer Care…
But hold up! Canadian healthcare is definitely not all doom and gloom. 🇨🇦
First, we are extremely lucky to have access to free healthcare, even if it’s not the best.
Second, even the countries that rank in the top 10 for healthcare can’t provide the latest advancements as fast as they are available…And those patients also need to pay out-of-pocket if they want to enhance their cancer care.
The point? There’s NO healthcare system that can keep up with delivering the very newest medical advancements to their citizens in a super timely manner.
You might be wondering…so, Michelle, what are you doing to help this situation?
(I was hoping you’d ask! :))
Right now, the CTOAM team and I work within the public healthcare system as a way for patients like you to enhance their standard care, if they choose.
To put it simply…
We help public healthcare oncologists access better treatments for their patients – and provide better care and significantly longer lifespan – than they otherwise could.
Because your oncologist is obligated to stick to standard protocols unless they have scientific proof that something will work better for you.
So if your oncologist doesn’t have the data that CTOAM’s experts give them, then their hands are tied about what they can offer you.
Your doctor will have no choice but to only offer you standard diagnostics (like CT scans, which are often inaccurate) and standard treatment (like chemo, which is often not even useful for many types of cancer or could be much more beneficial when paired with newer treatments, or avoided altogether with new targeted therapies…)
And it’s not your oncologist’s fault. It’s just due to the nature of our medical system.
How to Access Precision Oncology
Our ultimate goal at CTOAM is to show government officials, as well as doctors and patients, how much less expensive and time consuming Precision Oncology actually is – for the public medical system and for patients, too.
Using Precision Medicine (aka Personalized Cancer Care) saves time, reduces cost, and is basically a win-win all around, for everyone.
In the future, there’s no doubt that more and more Precision Medicine will become adopted into public healthcare.
Because the proof is in the studies and the clinical trials:
People are living longer, with fewer side effects, when Precision Medicine is used (correctly, as we do at CTOAM).
However…until Precision Oncology becomes more integrated into standard healthcare, we are stuck with the system as it is.
As I said up front, it’s sad but true. And accepting reality is the first step to creating change.
So, for a short while, yes – patients with more money will have the option to pay for better cancer care. This sucks, I know. I hate it, too.
But as long as people are vocal about what they know is possible, but aren’t being offered in public healthcare, change will happen.
Change will happen when more patients speak up and demand genetic testing.
Change will happen when more advocates ask for what their loved one needs – not just accept what they’ve been given.
And no, it’s not easy. It’s tiring and challenging.
But it means that you’re taking back your power…your power over your health, and over bigger changes at a higher level that might impact many other patients, too.
As we’ve been preaching for over 10 years now…
Knowledge IS Power.
And on that note…
You can learn all about Precision Oncology and Personalized Cancer Care at our cancer expert Alex Rolland‘s YouTube channel 👉 just click here to watch 100s of free videos!
The CTOAM team spends a lot of time creating educational resources like this to empower cancer patients, their families, and doctors on what is possible and how to advocate for better care within the current medical system.
How to Go Beyond Standard Cancer Care
Remember: You CAN access world-class treatment through your public healthcare oncologist IF you’re able to present your oncologist with proof that treatment will help you better than your current plan. (Even if they’ve already told you there’s nothing more they can offer you, or that what you’re getting now is the best there is.)
So, stay tuned and help us spread the word about what is possible and how patients can successfully advocate for what they need…until Precision Oncology becomes the way all cancer patients are treated.
And thank you for being here to read this! It means a lot. You are doing the work that few do. I know it’s deep stuff, but it’s important. Really. 🩺
And you can always speak to me about how to add Personalized Cancer Care to your treatment plan – just sign up for a Free Cancer Care Strategy Session. I would love to speak with you.on January 27, 2021
Tags: Advocacy, Cancer Advocacy, Cancer Care, Cancer Patients, Knowledge is Power, Precision Oncology, Standard Care