One year later, I sat in a research meeting at a cancer institution and shared with them the information I had discovered about what could have been done differently with this last treatment and even offered his record to them for study. (They never availed themselves of this opportunity though they were well known as a leader in cancer research.) Two years later, as I sat in the same room for another research meeting, I was surprised to hear a physician announce a new committee that was forming to study the tumor necrosis issue they had recently discovered was killing patients. This was the very same issue I had presented in the meeting before and all I could think was, “I wonder how many people died of this complication since then.”
The biggest blow to my faith in the current medical system came after William’s death. In a review of his medical history, two years of pre-diagnosis records were discovered to have been transferred to his oncologist. In these records a trend was found to have been overlooked in the clinical setting by two physicians who had seen William several times in the years before diagnosis. The timeline of the trend revealed that William probably could have traded his Stage IV diagnosis for a more survivable Stage I if those who knew what to look for had been looking. This is where I discovered that a portion of the problem with cancer mortality is that the oncology experts who have the knowledge to see the signs of cancer (and actively look for it) don’t see cancer patients until after a diagnosis. And even if they could, the process for discovery, given the current structure of the health system and health records management would make it incredibly cumbersome and unprofitable.
I actively talk to and work with cancer patients now and have heard many stories like William’s that remind me that American healthcare is not structured to see what is right before its eyes, and patients are not educated to understand what is in their own record or how to read it.
This combination of problems causes us to fall short in the extremely necessary role of self- advocate when it comes to our own healthcare. Compounding this, I have yet to discover anyone who came to their first few appointments equipped to make the decisions asked of them with careful thought and ample time — because no one plans to have cancer and studies accordingly — just in case it happens to them.
It is glaringly obvious that cancer patients– in their race against time– need a better way to get well besides the promise of an elusive cure that has escaped us for decades. In order to have better healthcare, a new path must be paved, and that begins with well-equipped patients to fight in the light of knowledge. This not only helps the patient achieve better outcomes, but it also helps their doctor do the job intended and do it better than can be done alone and furthers our vision of a world where cancer has been outsmarted.
At Curenav, we know that the ability to change cancer from a terminal and deadly disease to a chronic and manageable one is right at our fingertips. The knowledge needed to achieve earlier diagnosis exists today in patient records, and the grit, commitment and determination required to push us forward to the promised land of cancer prediction is embodied in our team, our company, and our mission.
Five years ago, it was my family going through the chaos of cancer, but tomorrow it could be you or me or someone else that we love.
I have heard that Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it,” and we couldn’t agree more.
Curenav is not just the right technology. It’s the right technology at the right time.
Very Truly Yours,
Founder & CEO