Topic: Healthcare

My Personal Health Crisis

Published by on May 19, 2021 | Share your thoughts

CTOAM Co-Founder Michelle Morand shares her recent personal health crisis – and what cancer patients can learn from it. For three years, I’d been repeatedly visiting my doctor with the same complaint:  I was experiencing a lot of pain, plus the feeling of a mass, in my pelvic area. I had pap tests and x-rays and manual examinations… And each time the doctors told me it was nothing.  Eventually the pain got so bad that I just couldn’t stand to hear someone tell me it was ‘nothing’ anymore. So I finally took matters into my own hands: I shelled out $2,000 for a PET/CT scan to see what was actually going on inside of me… Within 48 hours I had the information I needed (or at...
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A Second Chance for John

Published by on November 11, 2020 | Share your thoughts

John’s wife Nan had been diagnosed with an advanced form of cervical cancer nearly a decade ago. They spent about 5 years trying to fight it through standard care. Nan got surgery, radiation, and many rounds of chemo. She grew worse. They eventually reached out to us when it looked like there was nothing more that could be done for Nan, except for palliative chemo, through standard care. We took a look at her case and immediately sent Nan for genetic testing. Our cancer expert Alex Rolland found several promising treatment options based on results, including immunotherapy. However, due to various factors at the time, John and Nan decided to stick with standard care and continue with the palliative chemo. Nan passed away several months...
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Better Cancer Care: How to Get What You Need

Published by on October 28, 2020 1 Comment

“You get what you settle for.” You’ve probably heard that one before.  A good friend of mine told me this, many years ago, in relation to my dating life. I was seeing someone new and wasn’t sure if they were right for me…and my friend said, “well Michelle, you get what you settle for! So the question is: do you want to settle for him?”  I chewed on that for a while and eventually realized, yeah…I wasn’t going to settle for this particular man. And I’m so glad I didn’t!  Why am I telling you about my past dating woes?  Because “you get what you settle for” is true for many areas of life… Including cancer care.  Getting Better Cancer Care Requires Advocacy Standard cancer...
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What Questions Should You Ask Your Oncologist?

Published by on October 14, 2020 1 Comment

15 to 20 mins. That’s the average length your oncologist has to talk with you at your appointment.  No wonder they’re not able to tell you about ALL your treatment options. Nor ALL the diagnostics available.  Your oncologist’s day is full to the brim: they see, on average, over 50 patients per week! Plus meetings, rounds, and learning new standard protocols. They are exhausted. Between 47% to 74% of oncologists report burnout. 67% report exhaustion. Those numbers don’t exactly inspire confidence… Oncologists do not have time – even if they wanted – for personalized cancer research. Nor learning about all the NEW protocols beyond standard care. Not their fault; it’s just how public healthcare works. This means, unfortunately, that it’s your job to find out...
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