My friend’s mother Jill* was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. Recently she told me that her mother was receiving further treatment in Queensland. It was a fairly new treatment that wasn’t on offer yet in her home state. “It’s really helping her,” she told me. “I’m so glad that we found out about it.”
Thankfully Jill* only has to travel a few hours every couple of months, and her husband and two daughters have the capacity to take time off of work, taking turns to travel with Jill and be by her side to provide care and support.
But what if the medicine had only been available overseas—a long 30 hour plane trip away? Or what if the drug existed, but wasn’t available to her at all?
This scenario is the very reason for TheSocialMedwork’s existence. We live in an age where you can hop online to order a new brand of lipstick if it hasn’t been released yet in your country. It seems nonsensical that you have to wait months, even years for a FDA approved, potentially live-saving medication to become available in Australia.
Our aim is to put patients in the driver’s seat. If a patient decides to explore new pathways and there is a new, well-reviewed, approved innovative treatment out there that could help them, we want to help them to access it; and as quickly as possible. It can be difficult to learn about the latest treatments available, all in the one place. We want to bridge this gap as well; to be a platform that doctors, health providers and patients can go to for information and access.
This month, thousands around the world will gather for various breakfasts and events to raise awareness about the most common cancer affecting women: breast cancer. TheSocialMedwork honours those whose lives were tragically cut short by breast cancer, and stand in solidarity with those who are fighting this devastating disease.
*Name changed to preserve privacy.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing can replace the care of your clinician or doctor. Please do not make changes to your treatment or schedules without first consulting your healthcare providers. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat illness.