(Sponsored) Since Breast Cancer Awareness month began in 1985, October has become the time of year to shed light on women’s health issues. Learn about some of the new and innovative ways O‘ahu healthcare providers are helping women look and feel their best.
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Personalized Medicine: The Future Standard of Care in Hawai‘i
Whether it is screening to prevent their own cancer, managing their own disease or dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of a loved one, cancer places an enormous burden on the women of Hawai‘i.
To address this burden, Hawai‘i Pathologists’ Laboratory has partnered with The Queen’s Cancer Center to deliver next-generation genetic diagnostics to a comprehensive care team of M.D. Anderson certified doctors, nurses, navigators and clinical trial specialists. The job of this team is to tailor the patient’s treatments to the individual’s genetic blueprint and, most importantly, the patient’s desires and expectations.
Our program consists of three important elements:
1. Meeting with our pathologists at The Queen’s Cancer Center. The pathologist is responsible for reviewing your case, irrespective of where the diagnosis was made. One out of 71 patients are misdiagnosed, roughly 1.4 percent of patients. Given that there are approximately 6,400 new cancer cases a year in Hawai‘i, we must make sure that each patient’s diagnosis is accurate and the type of cancer is clearly communicated to the care team. The pathologist will discuss the biologic nature of the cancer and the various genetic testing options to tailor patients’ treatments. The pathologists will be responsible for helping to present cases to the comprehensive care team.
2. The Queen’s Cancer Care team involves surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists. Customized treatments may involve one or all three of these specialties, coordinated by a dedicated Patient Navigator, who will guide patients through the treatment process. The pharmacists and pathologists work together to ensure accurate medication dosing and delivery, while radiologists and nuclear medicine experts use advanced imaging to track the patient’s progress. When standard treatments are either not optimal or have failed, we can select new targeted medications based on the cancer’s genetic blueprint. Sometimes, this will involve enrolling a patient in a national or local clinical trial, to get the most advanced medications to the patient as soon as possible.
3. Cancer survivorship. To go through cancer treatment is the fight of you and your loved one’s life. It is a life-altering event that requires constant vigilance and continued care. The Queen’s survivorship team provides you and your physician with a care plan after your cancer treatment to help you lead a healthy and cancer-free life.
To begin your personalized medicine plan, call 691-4271.