Personalised Ovarian Cancer Medicine
Published 28 Jun 2019 • By Andrea Barcia
Introducing, Intensivist, a member of Carenity Spain who has agreed to tell us about her experience with ovarian cancer and personalised medicine, the so-called "medicine of the future.
Hello, my story is the same as many others: a problem occurs, a misdiagnosis of something as nothing but eventually reveals itself as ovarian cancer. You have to continue by just going forward, you trust what they tell you, you are lost, so you let yourself go.
The journey consists of crying, nerves and stress. They operate on you and, as they always tell you, everything has gone very well, it's always gone very well... Then the post-operative period: pain, helplessness, suffering... And the journey of oncologists begins: you have to follow the protocol in the hospital and, if the doctors don't listen to you, there is more helplessness and time against you when you haven't even recovered from the operation.
And the journey of oncologists begins: you have to follow the hospital protocol and if the doctors don't listen to you...
You search the internet for information, ask for advice, and then you find out that you shouldn't have had surgery in a place where they're not specialists in that cancer, that the ovary broke and the tumor cells have spread to your stomach. You go to another doctor and he tells you that they should have removed more nodes, they should have biopsied the diaphragm and the peritoneum... and you think: "but what happens in this system, I trusted blindly in my ignorance but now what do I do?”
And then, an angel appears (my amazing specialist) and guides you, and says to you: "look, the first thing you must do is see if the chemotherapy they are going to give you is going to be effective or not", and you find out that there is a test that tells you this. You do it, and you get that it only has an effectiveness of 13%, so you consult your oncologist and he says: "no, no, ignore those tests! Take the chemo and here the protocol is 6 months" and you say: "but isn’t 3 months is just as effective?" and he answers: "yes, it's true, but here the protocol is 6 months". Once again, the fight with the system and “protocol” continues.
However, the doctors don’t listen and they refuse to change their protocols. So you go back to your wonderful specialist and he tells you that there is a center abroad where if you give them your a piece of your tumour they can isolate your mutations and create a vaccine just for you. It is personalised medicine, and you are told that it is the future brought to the present, and you think: "chemo to which I have a 13% chance of success or the future brought to the present?" and in the end you take a risk.
Chemo that I have a 13% chance of success? Or personalised medicine?
It's been almost 2 years now, and everything is going well, and you keep asking yourself why people can't be informed, why they can't have the right to be treated with medicine of the future. Why do oncologists keep clinging to their chemotherapies and watching thousands of people die every day. Cancer is a disease with many external and internal influences, but oncology is statistical and oncologists live from it. But we are sick with the will to live, and if we die, we want to do it with dignity, the dignity that many oncologists take away from us by killing the patients with chemotherapy, knowing that the person will not survive the hardship of the therapy. Is it a lack of ethics, or time or of common sense?
We are sick with a desire to live
Chemo is, thank God, coming to an end because of personalised medicine.
Hopefully it won’t take fifteen years for people to become informed about these vaccinations which are made specifically for each individual tumour. Every tumour is different, so it doesn’t make sense to treat each one the same way.
I ask God that my vaccine will continue to work, and I hope that we will be able to fight much more effectively against this cursed disease, generated in many cases by ourselves, humans, habits, etc...
Thank you, Intensivist, for speaking to us and sharing your story!
What do you think about personalised medicine? Did you hear about it before now? Do you think it seems like a more positive treatment than chemotherapy?
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