The Most Troubling Part of Cancer Treatment for Patients

October 16, 2018

A Wamberg Genomic Advisors’ Cancer Survey has revealing findings from people dealing directly with cancer.

Healthcare executives understand that cancer patients and their families are going through a difficult and challenging time. During this period, providing patients with access to guidance from knowledgeable experts can go a long way toward easing their frustrations.

A Wamberg Genomic Advisors’ Cancer Survey of 204 persons dealing directly with the disease (half of respondents were patients, and half were family or friends helping during diagnosis and treatment) found that 47%, said there was “no knowledgeable advocate to help” in finding an effective treatment/solution for cancer.

Another 29% found that the most troubling part of finding an effective treatment/solution was “healthcare experts could not agree on a treatment.” The remaining 24% said that they “bounced from doctor to doctor” to find a solution.

The survey also found that patients want more guidance, Forty-two percent said that they thought more help from an advocate dedicated to the case could have helped them better understand what was wrong.

Related: Early-Stage Clinical Trials Offer Hope to Oncology Patients

Other findings include:

  • 21% said that finding a good treatment took more than a month.
  • 10% of respondents noted that they never found a good treatment.
  • 11% of respondents claimed that the cancer was misdiagnosed at least one time.
  • 4% said that there was a misdiagnosis twice or more.

“Healthcare executives can advise those who have a history of cancer in their families, or a genetic predisposition for cancer to take aggressive measures in being ready to get the best possible help, and diagnostic testing,” says Tom Wamberg, CEO of Wamberg Genomic Advisors.

Top ways to be a patient advocate

“A professional advocate can assist people with cancer by providing professional support across three key domains: clinical confidence, emotional resilience, and practical help,” Wamberg says.

He advises helping the patient manage their cancer in a more productive and engaged way. This could include:

  • Helping them orientate and understand the cancer landscape
  • Answering questions and helping with complex medical terminology
  • Organizing a second opinion
  • Providing emotional support
  • Providing an on-site nurse navigator during medical consultations to help ensure the right questions are being asked
  • Curating information and signposting to useful resources