The need for a comprehensive patient portal while living with Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid Cancer is one of the more rare cancers affecting US citizens every year with the American Cancer Society estimating only approximately 53,000 new cases in 2018. Get Real Health’s copywriter, Maureen Stiles, joined the ranks of those diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the fall of 2017.
Her journey typifies why a comprehensive patient portal is necessary when dealing with a chronic illness. Although thyroid cancer is considered highly curable, especially if it has been contained to the thyroid itself, it is a long road to recovery and a lifetime of follow-up.
“I wasn’t really sure what function the thyroid performed in the body before I embarked on this roller coaster,? says Maureen. “I actually opted to have it removed as a precaution after inconclusive biopsies, so the cancer diagnosis was a real shock.
As with most chronic conditions, thyroid cancer requires care from multiple practitioners. A surgeon, endocrinologist, imaging centers, laboratories and a nuclear medicine specialist are just a few that Maureen interacted with throughout her treatment.
“Just keeping up with the medicines is a full time job not to mention the fact that my nuclear medicine treatment required a special restrictive diet,? she explains. “Now a year into it, I have found ways to keep it all organized.?
Not all of Maureen’s clinicians offered her an online patient portal. At one point in her protocol, she was checking four separate portals and printing data to discuss with other physicians treating her. This back and forth and duplicative effort, made an already stressful situation more stressful for Maureen.
“It was hard to keep up with who knew what at any time during my treatment,? she explains. “I was never so keenly aware of the real service Get Real Health provides to patients and physicians by fostering an interactive, integrated approach to care.?
Get Real Health’s suite of products are uniquely suited to chronic disease management, yet diverse enough to serve a wide demographic and range of use cases. Our goal is to empower patients as well as help practitioners make holistic treatment decisions; all leading to better outcomes.
Fortunately for Maureen, her outcome was a positive one. “I am currently cancer free and happy to put the treatment portion behind me,? she says. “My one take-away from this has been to be your own advocate and follow your gut when it comes to medical care. All the doctors may have medical journals and training, but you have a lifetime of experience in your own body and owe it to yourself to speak up and ask questions.?