How many family members do we all know prematurely affected by cancer?
For me, I’ve seen many of my loved ones die, but also those that have overcome.
My grandmother, grandfather, and uncle have all succumbed early to the "C word". It is probably the most helpless feeling and one of the reasons I went into medicine. I chose a path as a cardiologist because of the rewards of being able to cure and help people who had heart attacks and heart disease. To me, I felt like I would have more success helping people with heart disease and cardiovascular issues than I ever would dealing with patients who have cancer. Taking that route would have brought back all of the feelings of helplessness I felt early on in my own family. Years of professional and life experience would inevitably push me towards a different path, I’m ready to take on this challenge.
That is not to say I believe I can cure cancer. I do, however, feel like I can and have created a tool to enable patients to take control of their journey. Healthcare has disappointed many and after 15 years of seeing patient after patient uninformed or informed too late by us as providers.
I hope that in my small part, I am empowering patients to not only get the care they deserve but to advocate and act on their own behalf and not be intimidated to get those tests and utilize their results for early detection. The culmination of patient frustration, the way healthcare is delivered, there has got to be a better way.