More Than One in Three Cancer Patients Wished They Had Their Own Dedicated Cancer Expert to Advocate on Their Behalf--Wamberg Genomic Survey

Friday, October 26, 2018 Cancer News
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Fifty-three percent (53%) of those surveyed said they could have benefited from practical advice and support in dealing with the side effects of treatments; 36 percent wished for better support in understanding long-term side effects of the treatment

LA JOLLA, Calif., Oct. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a Wamberg Genomic Advisors Cancer Survey, respondents wished

there was more personalized support in managing the disease with 35 percent wishing another cancer expert was there as an advocate, and 36 percent wanting better support in understanding long-term side effects of the treatment.  In addition, 31 percent of those queried said they did not have an expert to talk to about worries and fears, 53 percent responded they could have benefited from practical advice and support in dealing with the side effects of treatments. The survey, fielded in September 2018, examined the views of 204 individuals, half of whom were patients and half were family or friends helping during diagnosis and treatment. The results of this survey are the perceptions of patients and their lay advocates and not results from clinicians.

Forty-one percent did not have a clinical nurse specialist provide support through the treatment.  Of those that did have a clinical nurse specialist, 70 percent found it very easy to contact the specialist.  Regarding explanation of treatment options, most respondents thought options were explained well, with more than 90 percent saying they were explained "somewhat well," or "very well."  In addition, 82 percent of respondents said that the possible side effects of treatment(s) were explained in an understandable way.

According to Dr. Philip Smalley, chief medical director of Wamberg Genomic Advisors, "Being diagnosed with cancer is very stressful on the patient and their family. Navigating through the healthcare system seeing multiple doctors and getting various scans and other tests can be very challenging for the patient and their family to manage. More access to knowledgeable patient advocates can help in these difficult times. Various medical studies have shown that cancer patients who have access to Cancer Nurse Case Managers/Navigators have less time delay to starting treatment, fewer hospital readmissions, less cancer-related healthcare cost and overall improved patient satisfaction."

Said Tom Wamberg, president and CEO of Wamberg Genomic Advisors, "When you are diagnosed with cancer, you really want a personal team for support by your side day-by-day, minute-by-minute. That was the case for me.  These survey results show that many cancer patients do want more support.  Well-informed, oncology-trained nurses who are familiar with the cancer landscape and the associated challenges of managing and living with cancer, can provide significant personalized support."

"Acknowledging the desire for patients to have more support," said Wamberg, "led us to develop Cancer Guardian, a comprehensive cancer support program that includes advanced DNA testing, access to cancer support specialists, and a second opinion to help people during an extremely challenging and often overwhelming time."

Detailed results for survey questions and answers include the following:

In learning about the treatment options, did you wish another cancer expert was there as an advocate?

  • Yes                                                      35%   
  • No                                                       37%
  • There were enough advocates           28%   

Before the treatment(s) started, did you wish that there had been better support in understanding long-term side effects of the treatment?

  • Yes, needed more support               36% 
  • No, did not need more support         64%   

While being treated, was there an expert to talk to about worries and fears?

  • Yes      69%
  • No       31%   

Could you have benefited from better practical advice and support in dealing with the side effects of treatment(s)?

  • Yes, definitely                                                             27%
  • Yes, to some extent                                                   26%    (total "yes" = 53%)
  • No, I did not need better practical advice offered      47%   

Did a Clinical Nurse Specialist provide support through treatment?

  • Yes      59%
  • No       41%                                                   

How easy or difficult has it been to contact Clinical Nurse Specialist?

  • Easy    70%   
  • Neither easy nor difficult     26%   
  • Difficult           4%     

Before the cancer treatment started, how well were treatment options explained?

  • Very well                    61%
  • Somewhat well          30%    (total "well" = 91%)
  • Not very well              7%   
  • Not understandable    2%               

Were the possible side effects of treatment(s) explained in an understandable way?

  • No       18%
  • Yes      82%   

About Cancer Guardian™

Cancer Guardian™ is a leading advancement in personalizing cancer support and treatment. Cancer Guardian's Comprehensive Cancer Support Program includes three key features: 1) advanced DNA testing, 2) dedicated cancer support specialists, and 3) digital medical records management.  

Advanced DNA testing identifies genetic mutations found in a patient's tumor or blood sample. The information from this advanced DNA testing can help to improve the accuracy of the initial diagnosis and may help the treating physician identify a more effective treatment option.

Dedicated cancer support specialists are compassionate, well-informed, oncology-trained nurses who are familiar with the cancer landscape and the associated challenges of managing and living with cancer. Each cancer support specialist can provide significant support during a critical life event. To reduce the incidence of a misdiagnosis a second-opinion pathology review is included in the Cancer Guardian program, as well as an on-site nurse navigator who can attend an appointment with the patient and his or her physician.

Medical records management is hosted on the Cancer Guardian Medical Records Platform, a secure, HIPAA-compliant, user-friendly, cloud-based solution for storing and accessing medical records, including radiological images. This platform gives patients the freedom to connect with doctors, clinics, family members, insurance providers, and their cancer support specialists in a convenient and efficient way. Cancer Guardian enrollees can use this service at any time, for any condition.

Recently added: Hereditary Cancer Test: In partnership with Color, Cancer Guardian enrollees now have critical access to Color's clinical-grade test that analyzes 60 genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, associated with risks for 8 common hereditary cancers and genetic forms of heart disease. Color also analyzes 14 genes associated with responses to commonly prescribed medications. The Color test includes access to board-certified genetic counselors and clinical pharmacists who help answer questions about interpretation of test results, risk and personalized screening guidelines. 

About the Survey The Wamberg Genomic Advisors Cancer Survey queried 204 cancer patients or their nonprofessional family/friend advocates. The results of this survey are the perceptions of patients and their advocates and not results from clinicians. The survey was fielded by Survey Sampling International (SSI) in September 2018. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error was 4 percent. SSI has been the worldwide leader in survey sampling and data collection solutions, across every mode, for more than forty years.

About Wamberg Genomic AdvisorsWamberg Genomic Advisors is the first company dedicated to making genomic-based programs and services, not typically covered by health insurance, available at prices everyone can afford. Advanced DNA testing can provide insights to individuals and health-care providers for better-informed decisions about overall health, patient-care paths, and the quality and longevity of life. Wamberg Genomic Advisors delivers genomic products and services to employers and their employees via their trusted benefit brokers, and to policyholders of life insurance companies through qualified agents. To discover more about Wamberg Genomic Advisors and the future of genomics, visit and

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SOURCE Wamberg Genomic Advisors

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