When first diagnosed with cancer, most people turn to the internet in hopes of finding information to better understand their diagnosis and research options for treatment. But finding reliable, relevant information is no easy task. And when you do find such information, it is often challenging and confusing to understand unless you have a medical degree or PhD.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with breast cancer, colon cancer or prostate cancer (or a few other health conditions like diabetes), check out Medivizor. Medivizor offers personalized information and updates for people with serious medical conditions. It’s like a google alert but much better. They will be adding more conditions soon- melanoma will soon be launched.
Here’s how it works….
1. Go to Medivizor.com to sign up- all you need is an email address and a diagnosis. BTW, any personal information you provide is not shared without your explicit permission. If you like, even your actual identity does not need to be shared.
2. Because Medivizor recently launched, they only support a limited number of conditions (breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes + a few others). So at this point in time, after you sign up, Medivizor will confirm with you via email whether they support your condition of interest.
3. If they support your condition, you will then be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire. The more information you provide, the more specific and relevant their findings will be.
4. Next you will begin receiving notifications every few days via email on cutting-edge research, possible treatments, clinical trials and more relevant to your specific condition. BTW, you can list more than one condition if you like. You can also rate each notification or article in terms of it’s relevance to you. The Medivizor search engine is smart and will tailor it’s findings based on your feedback.
5. And here’s my favorite part… the information you receive has been re-written in plain English. No medical degree or PhD required to comprehend the articles. Medivizor even bottomline’s the information for you… literally. See a sample article format below. Also included is a link to the actual study which you can print out and bring to your doctor.
6. Lastly, Medivizor‘s personalized information updates is free of charge although over time, they may introduce additional services with associated costs. Got questions? Contact Medivizor @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAMPLE ARTICLE I RECEIVED ABOUT COLON CANCER:
Do elderly or younger patients with stage II colon cancer benefit from adding Oxaliplatin to adjuvant chemotherapy?
In a nutshell
This study tested whether chemotherapy after surgery (‘adjuvant chemotherapy’) including Oxaliplatin and FL (altogether called FOLFOX4) has any benefits in stage II and in elderly patients with colon cancer (CC). The main finding was that the addition of Oxaliplatin to FL as adjuvant chemotherapy did not provide any survival benefit in stage II CC and elderly patients
Stage II colon cancer (cancer in the large intestine) is confined to the digestive tract. It is usually treated with surgery (removal of the cancer). Adjuvant chemotherapy with Fluorouracil(FU)/Leucovorin(LV) (FL) or Capecitabine alone is standard treatment for stage III CC (cancer that has spread from the colon to the lymph nodes). Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) is a new FDA approved drug for the treatment of advanced colon cancer. Whether adjuvant chemotherapy has any benefits in stage II and in elderly CC patients remains inconclusive.
Methods & findings
899 patients with stage II CC participated in this study. 315 of them were ages 70-75 years. 569 were regarded as ‘high-risk’ (their tumors had certain features suggesting aggressiveness) whereas 330 were considered as ‘low-risk’. After complete removal of the cancer patients were randomly given either FL or FOLFOX4. Patients were followed-up for 5-7 years. The effect of Oxaliplatin-fortified adjuvant chemotherapy on the following indices was evaluated: Cancer-free survival (the percentage of patients alive without signs and symptoms of the cancer after a specified duration of time); Time to recurrence (time interval until the cancer reappears); Overall survival (the percentage of patients alive with or without the disease).
The addition of Oxaliplatin to adjuvant chemotherapy resulted in higher Cancer-free survival rates and lengthened Time to recurrence in all patients with stage II CC, and particularly in high-risk ones (28% and 38% rise, respectively). The advantage was minor in elderly patients. Either way, the benefit was not statistically significant. Overall survival rate did not improve at all under FOLFOX4 treatment.
The bottom line
In conclusion, the authors did not find a significant benefit from adding Oxaliplatin to FL as adjuvant chemotherapy in stage II CC and elderly patients.
My bottom line… The more knowledgeable a patient, the easier it is to advocate, and patients who advocate for themselves tend to have better outcomes. Medivizor can help make you even MORE knowledgeable about your cancer. So check it out and tell me what YOU think of this FREE service. I can’t wait till they add sarcoma to their list of conditions.