It’s a normal morning at the Grace Gawler Institute headquarters in Tasmania.
Independent cancer navigator, Grace Gawler, drawing on her 49 years of cancer service is on a Skype Consultation call with a patient (MX) who lives halfway across the country.
‘MX’ with recurrent stage IV pancreatic cancer, has been told; ‘there is nothing more we can do’ – ‘get your affairs in order.’
Translated – the Gold Standard of Cancer Care in our hospitals has little to offer stage IV patients – especially pancreatic cancer.
Prior to the consultation, Navigator Grace, has reviewed MX’s medical records, x-rays and scans. She is well briefed and has explored possible treatment options.
Not long into the session, MX utters the words we hear so often; “I wish found you earlier.”
Predictably; in response to the navigator’s line of forensic questioning, ‘MX’ will say; “nobody has asked such thorough questions about my medical history before.”
As they proceed, it is not unusual to witness a profound transformation. MX’s hard etched worry wrinkles will literally begin to disappear as it dawns to her she may have a second chance at life.
Navigator Grace outlines a range of potential treatment options; however; to identify the targeted treatments with certainty, a genomics diagnostic test is recommended. This is hi-tech stuff.
A plan is formulated and put into action the moment the consult finishes.
The genomic test is arranged and dialogues commence with potential oncology practitioners, including some in countries overseas – scans and reports are sent on and discussed.
The navigator knows that the timing and sequencing of treatments substantially value-adds to patient outcomes. She will need to apply her skills coordinating and managing the treatments.
MX, in a Skype session, had gone from ‘death row’ (months to live), to the chance of accessing high-tech targeted treatments; precision cancer medicine.
MX, the patient came to the institute for a second opinion and gained a second chance at life.
Judging by the tally of successful patient outcomes we have already facilitated; our Cancer Navigation Package, will likely extend MX’s life. Indeed – a remission is not out of the question.
Remarkably; this was just another ordinary, quite extraordinary day at the Grace Gawler Institute.