Cancer Patients without Borders...
Cancer treatments are not equal worldwide. A stage IV patient with a negative prognosis in one country may be seen as curative in another.
Why we help patients access advanced overseas treatments?
Personal experience: Grace Gawler Institute founder, Grace Gawler, knows what it like to be a patient with a life-challenging condition who has fallen through gaps in the medical system. In December 1997 she awoke after routine surgery to discover that her rectum was paralysed.
This unexpected event was to change her life drastically. Consecutive surgeries followed, ileostomies, colostomies and removal of damaged and impacted colon were band-aid treatments that bought time; but her long term prognosis was grim.
In 2002-03, with just one Australian physician supporting her decision to seek an experimental treatment developed in the Netherlands, (15 others were not in favour); she left Australian to seek her optimum recovery. Her experimental surgery involved a long stay in Rotterdam.
The procedure involved surgically implanting a bionic device and electrodes in her lower back and buttock; designed to mimic the nerve supply that no longer functioned.
Not tried before for her condition, it was successful and a world first! Every day her device still pulses at 6 volts and is responsible for Grace getting her life back; ending those years of colon surgeries and failing ileostomy procedures.
Replacement surgeries are ongoing. The battery operated device needs to be replaced approximately every 3-4 years. So far Grace has undergone 23 surgical procedure since 1997.
The procedure is now performed in Singapore, but still not available in Australia.
Helping Patients Navigate the National & International Cancer Maze:
With Grace's successful overseas treatment history, it is not surprising that one of the Institute's key initiatives involves helping patients find valid medical solutions overseas when solution are not available in their home country.
The need: When it comes to cancer treatments, not all countries are equal in what they can offer. Some proven treatments and procedures may be registered for use in some countries - but not others.
We believe that life is precious and that well-being & good life quality is the right of all cancer patients as it is their right to explore all possible options to extend their life with good quality.
We are committed to assist cancer patients to navigate the complex international cancer treatment maze with support and guidance.
New Technologies: Over the Decades we have developed close collaborations with experts in many medical fields.
As well we have embraced the highest levels of medical science and technology including advanced genomic testing and monitoring tools.
Our medical oncology colleagues can also assist with providing access to targeted treatments as recommended by precision medicine diagnostics. In terms of state of the art treatments; we enlist our international experts to provide you with treatment opinions, not available in your home country.
We can assist with referrals to Immune Therapy Centres, Proton beam and Cyber-knife centres located in Asia; treatment options not available in Australia.
Our Global Cancer Navigation Service:
- We are more than a referral service - more comprehensive & personalised; we provide guidance & management at every step.
- Our unique service is based on our founder's 42 years experience helping cancer patients. Click to view our Navigation Package
- No Bias: importantly - we receive no financial remuneration from the hospitals and experts we refer you to for an opinion.
- The only remuneration we receive is from you, the patient on a fee for service basis. Because we are very thorough, more time is spent than is charged for. Extra costs for time can be substantial - however our charity status allows us to subsidise extra services by way of donations.
- Along with your medical team, we help match you to centres of excellence with expertise in your particular cancer- within Australia and globally.
- Close collaborations with some of the world's leading oncologists - Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Germany, the UK, EU and the USA also means we can fast -track opinions.
- We understand that international travel for cancer treatment can be daunting. We can assist with logistics, travel information whilst guiding you through your treatments.
- We maintain a close connection with you while overseas and can provide liaisons with your local doctors and oncology team – essential for long-term monitoring and maintenance.
- We also offer psychological & emotional support.
Patients from the UK, Canada, USA and other Northern Hemisphere countries can also access advanced treatments overseas when these are not available or accessible in their home countries countries.