No, Your Time is Not Up Yet

You feel like time is no longer on your side. The clock is ticking.

That’s what you sense after receiving a cancer diagnosis. It’s best to develop a purposeful plan to help deal with an unexpected situation like this. To answer the question “why” is easy. The answer to “what” you do next is not.

I’m a firm believer in empowerment. You should be part of the solution and work as a team with your doctors to develop the next steps. A plan to move forward.

Because of this empowered approach, I continue to learn about new options and share information when possible. Sharing our knowledge and experience benefits others.

My goals as a health advocate are: (1) Keep the cancer genes turned off through lifestyle choices and the right attitude. (2) Inspire others, make them aware of trends and new ideas (including tech) regarding health and wellness.

We need more than just cancer awareness and prevention. We also need better solutions for those already diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is very complicated and different for each person, which is why we have the push for personalized cancer treatment.

There are many institutions working on solving the cancer mystery through individual research – but not as a team. The information available is overwhelming and conflicting in some cases. The cancer community needs to come together.

As someone who’s dealt with cancer a few times already, I was happy to hear about the Cancer Moonshot Initiative announced earlier this year by President Obama. Is this endeavor even plausible by 2020? Many public and private organizations are supporting the goal in different ways as shown through this update on the White House initiative.

According to the National Cancer Institute, they expect 1.7 million people in 2016 to have a new diagnosis with some form of cancer and about 600,000 will die. This is the U.S. alone. How can we give these people more time?

Tempus is one of the companies addressing the need for a collaborative structure in the cancer community. Their platform is an operating system to help doctors access and analyze shared clinical data. Their tagline is “Data-driven Cancer Treatment.” It’s essentially re-purposing data to help solve the cancer puzzle.

I learned about Tempus after reading an article written by Eric Lefkofsky titled An Operating System for Cancer. Eric’s passion for the task at hand is evident with his analysis on why we haven’t made much progress with the current system. He and Tempus are solving a real problem that is affecting millions of people each day.

FYI – A simple definition of the word tempus means “time”. Kind of appropriate since their goal is to provide “real-time” data and analysis to assist with cancer treatment decisions. They understand the clock is ticking for many.

This is an exciting time with lots of challenges and changes ahead. It’s important we work together as a community to make personalized cancer treatment a reality. Your time is not up yet.

A version of this article first appeared on HuffingtonPost.



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