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"We got a call from my oncologist saying that I had a complete response to my treatment – that was probably the best day of my life."
So, why are we here?
Let's start by taking a look at traditional cancer medicine. Oncology physicians will take whatever treatment is shown to work for a sample of the population and apply it to everybody. But, just like no two people are alike, no two cancers are alike.
Cancer patients face enough adversity: harsh side effects from their treatments, financial complications, difficult choices, high levels of stress… and, here in Canada, the standard of care for these people – our friends, family, neighbours, colleagues – lacks personalized, life-saving diagnostics and treatments.
But there is hope! REAL hope…
Studies have proven that through advanced – and personalized – diagnostics and treatments, which look at the molecular profile behind each person’s individual cancer, patients experience:
This is called Precision Oncology, or Personalized Cancer Medicine.
The problem we face is NOT the cost of the treatments determined by these methods. It’s almost always possible to get even the most expensive treatments covered these days. The problem is the cost TO GET THERE is not covered.
This means patients pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for:
- Genetic testing and PET/CT imaging
Consultation services from Precision Oncology
experts like CTOAM; including:
- Research specialists
- Personalized research to find the proper treatments
- Test analysis
- Administrative facilitation
That brings us to why we created this Crowdfunding Hub. We’re here to help patients get there!
Cancer care takes a village. And some of those suffering from cancer need a bigger village than others. This is where YOU come in!
By donating to help someone suffering from cancer, who has run out of options in their standard care, YOU provide options. YOU provide a second chance. YOU PROVIDE HOPE.
Unfortunately, not everybody seeking these services can be cured. (Although many can, and do, achieve long-term remission!) And at the very least, we can offer them a chance to extend the rest of their days and truly LIVE them, enjoying themselves with their loved ones, free from pain and suffering.
Check out our ongoing campaigns below and consider helping someone special along their cancer journey.
From Coma to Complete Remission : Kayleigh and Cassidy’s Incredible Journey
Kayleigh and her husband, Cassidy, had been through hell before Kayleigh was able to finally get the treatment she needed.
Standard care had taken WAY too long to diagnose her rare form of lymphoma.
They were in dire straights... and Kayleigh was in a life-threatening coma.
Cassidy was terrified, frantically researching any and all options that could save his wife's life.
He’d quickly realized that standard care was not enough.
Cassidy and Kayleigh Needed to Go Beyond Standard Care
The severity of Kayleigh’s situation – and the limited options the local cancer agency had to offer – meant that he had NO time to trust in standard care alone.
Part of the reason Kayleigh’s condition had become so bad was because of the massive wait time just to get a proper diagnosis.
So he had no choice – either let his wife continue to deteriorate (and likely die) or find other options.
Can you imagine?
Maybe you can.
Like many spouses of patients, Cassidy found himself suddenly thrown into the position of needing to become an expert on all possible treatment options for his wife.
Now, Cassidy just happens to be an incredibly smart man – a biochemical engineer, in fact.
But cancer? It's incredibly complex. Even doctors who spend their lives studying cancer don’t have a full grasp on the disease.
Cassidy and Kayleigh Turned to CTOAM for Better Options
With no time to spare, Cassidy called CTOAM for help.
Our cancer experts immediately sent Kayleigh’s tumor for genetic sequencing, determined the best treatment for her, and gave their oncologist the data to prove she 100% needed that treatment.
This allowed Kayleigh and Cassidy, with the help of their oncologist and Cassidy’s impressive advocacy work, to get the treatment ASAP and have it fully covered - over $100,000 worth of treatment!
Ready for some more good news?
After Kayleigh's fourth treatment, they received a phone call from the oncologist...
Incredibly, Kayleigh was in complete remission!
THIS is the power of next-generation sequencing. THIS is the power of getting the data to prove you need a specific treatment.
THIS is the power of going beyond standard care.
How Fundraising Allowed Kayleigh to Get the Care She Needed
Cassidy knew he needed to do whatever he could to support his wife…
And that meant finding a way to get the funds they needed to make sure she had the best chance possible.
So he created a simple campaign through this platform.
And then sent it to some family and friends.
And he waited.
Cassidy had no idea what was going to happen.
Within 24 hrs, he was absolutely blown away by the overwhelming support he and Kayleigh received…
From friends, family, and even strangers.
Over the next weeks, the support kept coming.
People they hadn’t spoken to in years reached out – not just to donate, but to give their empathy, well-wishes, offers of help...everything Cassidy could've hoped for.
For the first time since the beginning of Kayleigh’s horrific cancer ordeal, their family finally felt a sense of comfort.
They had a community behind them.
Cassidy felt a new sense of energy to keep going.
Kaleigh is Cancer-Free Thanks to Fundraising and Precision Oncology
Since then – and since Kayleigh’s incredible recovery! – they've continued to use their fundraising campaign to keep their loved ones and supporters updated…
And also to help spread the word about the importance of Precision Oncology and next-generation sequencing.
Because they don’t want anyone to suffer like they did.
They want cancer patients and their loved ones to KNOW they have more options beyond standard care.
And even though these life-saving advancements cost money out-of-pocket (at least for now), there IS always a way…
We live in an amazing time, where the internet brings us together…
And where people’s sense of community is still alive and well…
You just have to ask for what you need and let the support roll in.
Fundraising is saving lives.
Let it help you, too.
If you need financial support to help fund your cancer care, start your campaign today.
We're right here with you.
HighlightsSee all activity1
What is CTOAM and why do we exist?
We are here in support of cancer patients and their loved ones. Cancer Treatment Options and Management (CTOAM) is a Canadian-based team of cancer research scientists, counsellors, and advocates who assist cancer patients in accessing the most current advancements in medical science to provide you with better outcomes (longer life expectancy and fewer treatment related side-effects) than you could have with standard cancer care alone.
Why Does CTOAM Exist?
Did you know that, right now, there are over 98,000 clinical trials, pertaining to innovations in cancer diagnostics in treatment, taking place around the world?
Each of these trials will ultimately produce a peer-review paper and critical information regarding treatment options for patients with certain genetic predispositions. That’s a lot of information being released every year! And one of those studies could very well contain the perfect treatment protocol for you.
The public healthcare system, and oncologists on the front lines, are not prepared to absorb and review this vast amount of data in a timely manner. So instead, what happens? The patients suffer. Because often patients end up being given standard chemotherapies, radiation, or limited surgical procedures, when in reality there are far more beneficial treatment options available to them, if their oncologist only had the time and resources to find them.
In fact, it can take up to 10 years for a Health Canada Approved treatment option to be utilized in Canadian Medicine as standard of care.
10 years! Cancer patients do not have 10 years to wait!
Standard care alone is simply not good enough. Cancer patients need better options, and fast. That's where CTOAM comes in...
Who founded CTOAM?
Cancer expert & research scientist, Alex Rolland, and cancer care specialist & counsellor, Michelle Morand, co-founded CTOAM over 10 years ago.
Alex Rolland has 25+ years experience as a highly respected research scientist in cancer and oncogenomics. He has spent time both on the frontlines with patients in hospitals and in labs researching the newest diagnostic and treatment advancements. Alex has developed highly successful treatment plans for oncologists and patients at leading cancer centres around the world, including the Mayo Clinic (USA), Johns Hopkins (USA), MD Anderson (USA), BC Cancer Agency (BC, Canada), among many others. He is recognized among the best in the industry as an expert and thought leader. Read more about why Alex started CTOAM.
Michelle Morand (MA, RCC) has a successful 30+ year career in mental health education and program development. She's helped hundreds of clients overcome hardships and live fulfilling lives. Deeply passionate about helping others, Michelle is an expert in cancer advocacy and works with cancer patients across Canada and worldwide to help them access better care and leading-edge treatments. Read more about Michelle’s journey to co-founding CTOAM.
Where is CTOAM located?
CTOAM works with patients and oncologists around the world. We are a virtual service, so patients do not need to leave their homes in order to work with us. This saves them money, energy, and time. CTOAM headquarters and labs are located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
What is Precision Oncology?
Precision Oncology is considered around the globe, by leading oncology associations such as ASCO (the American Society of Clinical Oncologists) as ‘the evolution of cancer care’. And with very good reason: here is a list with over 1800 recent studies about the benefits and use of Precision Oncology in many types of cancer – and on the need for oncologists to be better educated on the benefits of genetic testing and targeted therapies for cancer.
The use of Precision Oncology, which includes the use of genetic testing and targeted therapies (including immunotherapies) has been repeatedly proven to massively improve the success of cancer treatment, with patients living well beyond standard care timelines, and often finding themselves in long standing remission because their treatment has been directly targeted, using genetic testing, to the root cause of their cancer.
See thousands of referenced papers on the value of this approach to cancer care here.
Download our Precision Oncology ebook, “7 New Ways to Beat Cancer Now!”
What does CTOAM do to help cancer patients get the right treatment?
At CTOAM our role in getting you the right treatment, right away, has 3 main steps:
- We facilitate the testing you need to prove which mutations are driving your cancer
- Our team conducts 30+ hours of personalized research for you to ensure we generate the most comprehensive and accurate treatment plan possible.
- We advocate for you, with your current oncologist, to assist them in accessing the treatments that are going to be most beneficial to you.
CTOAM will ensure that your oncologist has the most current medical science data to work with and that they have all the information they need about what has caused your cancer and what treatments have peer-reviewed evidence to show they will be better for you than your current standard care prescription.
This allows your oncologist to have confidence in prescribing you innovative treatment options that will provide you the best possible outcome.
We will do everything we can to ensure you get the treatment you need, ASAP.
Why Isn’t This Covered?
Canadian public healthcare – especially where cancer is concerned – is ranked around 23rd in the developed world, which is not great. Decisions for which tests and treatments to offer the public are based largely on budgetary and logistic limitations – NOT on what’s best for the individual patient.
The main factors for choosing the tests & treatments that standard care offers are:
- Which ones cost the least
- And which of those provide some benefit to the largest number of people…
As you can probably guess, this is NOT precision medicine. And it’s not personalized cancer care. It’s lightyears away from the best cancer care that’s actually available right now (if you know how to find it, like we do at CTOAM).
But, I need to reassure you that Canadian healthcare is definitely not all doom and gloom. First, we are extremely lucky to have access to free healthcare, even if it’s not the best. Second, even the countries that rank in the top 10 for healthcare can’t provide the latest advancements as fast as they are available…And those patients also need to pay out-of-pocket if they want to enhance their cancer care.
The point? There’s NO healthcare system that can keep up with delivering the very newest medical advancements to their citizens in a super timely manner.
Right now, the CTOAM team and I work within the public healthcare system as a way for patients like you to enhance their standard care, if they choose. To put it simply: we help public healthcare oncologists access better treatments for their patients – and provide better care and significantly longer lifespan – than they otherwise could.
Because your oncologist is obligated to stick to standard protocols unless they have scientific proof that something will work better for you.
So if your oncologist doesn’t have the data that CTOAM’s experts give them, then their hands are tied about what they can offer you. Your doctor will have no choice but to only offer you standard diagnostics (like CT scans, which are often inaccurate) and standard treatment (like chemo, which is often not even useful for many types of cancer or could be much more beneficial when paired with newer treatments, or avoided altogether with new targeted therapies…) And it’s not your oncologist’s fault. It’s just due to the nature of our medical system.
Because the proof is in the studies and the clinical trials: People are living longer, with fewer side effects, when Precision Medicine is used (correctly, as we do at CTOAM). However…until Precision Oncology becomes more integrated into standard healthcare, we are stuck with the system as it is. It’s sad but true.
And accepting reality is the first step to creating change. So, for a short while, yes – patients with more money will have the option to pay for better cancer care. This sucks, I know. I hate it, too.
Our ultimate goal at CTOAM is to show government officials, as well as doctors and patients, how much less expensive and time consuming Precision Oncology actually is – for the public medical system and for patients, too. It’s remarkable!
Using Precision Medicine (aka Personalized Cancer Care) saves time, reduces cost, and is basically a win-win all around, for everyone. In the future, there’s no doubt that more and more Precision Medicine will become adopted into public healthcare. But as long as people are vocal about what they know is possible, but aren’t being offered in public healthcare, change will happen.
Change will happen when more patients speak up and demand genetic testing. Change will happen when more advocates ask for what their loved one needs – not just accept what they’ve been given. And no, it’s not easy. It’s tiring and challenging. But it means that you’re taking back your power…your power over your health, and over bigger changes at a higher level that might impact many other patients, too.
What's the Problem with Standard Diagnostics?
Standard diagnostics for cancer rely on basic pathology and CT scans. The problem with this is that CT Scans are at best, 70% accurate but require multiple tests so that radiologists can compare one scan to the next and eyeball to see if there has been any change.
CT Scans cannot differentiate between live and dead tissue so any mass, shape or shadow that could be benign or scar tissue etc., has to be observed over 3-6 months or more, using multiple scans, before the radiologist can determine if the mass is growing. Still, they can’t tell it’s cancer. That’s where biopsies and pathologists come in.
And, while basic pathology is critical at the start – to ensure we are in fact dealing with cancer and not some other illness - it does not address the most key elements that patients need in order to ensure they get the right treatment: Those of identifying the root cause of the cancer.
As such, standard pathology techniques cannot identify targeted
therapy options and therefore oncologists who rely on standard
pathology cannot order targeted or immunotherapy options for their
patients with confidence as they do not have the information they
need about what genes have caused this cancer and therefore, which
targeted therapies are going to be right for this person.
Why is Genetic Testing So Important?
Cancer is a disease of genetic mutations. Everyone who has cancer, has cancer because they have one or many mutations in their DNA that has led to the overproduction of certain cells. These cells have formed masses, we call tumours, and are continuing to self replicate out of control, and will, if not properly treated, continue to grow until their host, you, has no more resources to provide them. And death occurs.
The use of comprehensive genetic testing to identify the genetic mutations driving your cancer is therefore a critical element in every patient’s cancer care. At CTOAM we believe every cancer patient should be able to access the most current and beneficial treatments possible.
But at this time in Canada the standard diagnostics tools used for cancer such as CT and pathology mentioned above, do not lead to the use of leading edge treatments like targeted therapies and immunotherapies because without genetic testing to identify the genetic mutations driving your cancer, your oncologist does not know what mutations to target for treatment, so they oncologist cannot, with any confidence, prescribe anything other than standard chemo, surgery and radiation.
What's the Problem with Standard Chemo?
Chemotherapy is like a shotgun approach to cancer care – it simply targets all rapidly reproducing cells, both healthy and cancerous. This is why the side effects can be so damaging. It does not differentiate, and does not get to the root cause. This is why cancer treatments based on chemotherapy often lead to recurrence, or do not ever truly get rid of the cancer entirely.
Why Are Newer Targeted Therapies (like Immunotherapy) Better?
Targeted therapies, including immunotherapies, provide patients with longer life expectancies and fewer treatment related side-effects because they are only affecting the part of your cells that has the cancerous mutation. Your healthy cells are not affected and the cancer treatment is far more effective. We call this a win-win! The issue is that targeted therapies can only be implemented once the genetics, or root cause, of your cancer are identified with confidence. Without genetic testing you are leaving numerous, beneficial treatment options on the table.
Do You Have Case Studies and Testimonials?
Yes, we have many patient success stories and case studies! You can see some of them here:
Do You Have Any Free Educational Resources?
Yes! We have plenty of free educational resources:
- See hundreds of free videos on our YouTube channel
- Download our free Precision Oncology ebook, “7 New Ways to Beat Cancer”
- Read our Cancer Research Blog
- Watch our free webinar on Precision Oncology
- Get our weekly newsletter full of educational cancer care tips
Can I See Stories of Patients You’ve Helped?
What's the Easiest Way to Get in Touch with You?
If you have more questions, please reach out:
- Phone within Canada: 778-999-5463 or Toll Free: 1-833-493-5463
- Email: email@example.com
Can You Help Me with My Cancer Care?
Of course! Here’s the fastest way to get started on our program:
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