The bigger the picture – the better the view
Cancer may only have one name, but it’s a disease that comes in many forms. Looked at under a microscope we’d see hundreds of types, all at different stages and with different grades. Examine it even more closely at a molecular level and there are hundreds of thousands of variations. And just as cancer has many different characteristics and behaviours, so too do we. Different ages and ethnicities; different lifestyles and habits – all of which make a difference to your patient’s chances of getting the disease and the way they’ll respond to the treatments they’re prescribed.
Imagine then, if you could see in an instant what happened to other patients with a similar cancer type, stage, grade as the patient sitting in front of you. Better than that, if you could also look at outcomes for patients not only with the same type of cancer but also with similar behaviours and characteristics. Not only would it then make it far easier for specialists to provide personalised medicine, but also it would help all clinicians predict likely outcomes far more effectively.
At the National Disease Registration and Analysis Service, which is part of Public Health England, it’s our job to collect information about every single cancer patient and to use it to help doctors and healthcare teams across England. Only by looking at the bigger picture can we begin to make a big difference when it comes to helping you prescribe the right treatment for your patients.