Innovative Medicines: A New Hope for Cancer Patients
The definition of the ‘age of technology and innovation’ is a fundamental shift in how humans learn, create, and experiment. This means that in the near future, our creations will become our hopes in every way, especially in healthcare. Every life is a valuable resource that deserves to live the way it wants to. Technology and human innovation are the solution to our problems.
Cancer is an unnerving, life-threatening disease for those who have to experience it. But not for Oil Ireal, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She went through a normal treatment procedure only for her cancer to later return- that’s when she began to learn about technology and innovative medicine that gave her hope. Forget that image of a cancer patient lying helpless in bed, she was able to live her normal life like how she wanted.
“I have been treated for cancer since 2011. In the last 5 years, I’ve heard more about new drug experiments and research. When I was first diagnosed, I was taking the traditional treatment route. But when the cancer started metastasising, I heard that there’s new research that might help improve cancer patients’ lives. My doctor said it’s no longer curable if it reaches the metastasis stage so I wanted to know how I could control it so I could live my longest and best life.”
“Over the past 5 years, I have been seeing more innovative medicine, such as Hormone Therapy, Targeted Therapy, and Precision Medicine, and they are continuously developing and discovering new ways to improve patients’ lives.”
Oil was cheery in our interview. To an outsider, you can never tell she’s a stage IV cancer patient, which is usually a very troublesome stage. Unlike a cancer patient many people may imagine, she looks relaxed. She said she received innovative medical treatment that changed her life and gave her hope and courage.
“Innovative medicine was my only shred of light. When I went to the doctor in 2017 and the doctor said the cancer had metastasized to my lungs, he told me that it might never be completely treated. All I could do was to contain the spread and live with it.”
“But the doctor suggested Targeted Therapy, which was promisingly backed by a number of researchers and known to help contain metastatic cancer. That’s when I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and started to have hope. I had tried all the traditional medicines and treatments and started to become resistant to some of them. With the new innovative medicine, at least I could contain the metastasis and give myself a chance to live longer.”
Receiving innovative medicine treatments allows Oil to live a normal life. She still has to take care of her health and follow her doctor’s advice but not so strictly that they are stressful. She believes that the right approach is to find the right balance between her physical and mental health. She can still live her normal life and cancer cannot take away the life she wants to have.
Oil never thought that she’s battling with cancer because it implies that one day she’d become exhausted and have to give in. She tries to learn and understand the disease as much as she can. She never stops learning so she can keep her treatment options open. Oil believes that every patient can choose their own approach to treatment.
“I started researching because I wanted to live. Whether it’s information, treatment alternatives, or anything I could consult my doctor about. I wanted to understand it all. Most information we look up these days are from the internet, so I’d bring that to discuss with my doctor. When I found out that innovative medicine was an option, I wanted to know what research was there to back this up. Since this is my life, I had the right to know, decide for myself, or seek other doctors’ opinions on the matter. I was frank and outspoken and constantly looking for opportunities.”
“I feel fortunate to have access to innovative medicines and I want other patients to have the same opportunity. I hope that life-threatening diseases like cancer would one day become just another disease that we can completely cure. People would no longer have to be frightened and could handle it.”
“Cancer patients need to first believe that cancer is curable and they can still have a normal life. They need to stop thinking that having cancer is guaranteed death. Everything has changed. Innovation and screening are now more effective, making cancer not as threatening. I can see the effort drug researchers, manufacturers, doctors, and medical professionals are putting into curing this disease and improving patients’ lives. I believe that one day cancer will become just another disease, like diabetes or high blood pressure, we can control. I want every patient out there to take care of themselves.”
“We need to believe in the innovations and technologies inspire more hope for patients. I always say to my family and friends that “I will live a long life”. There will be novel cancer treatments. Moreover, I can see continuous efforts and collaborations from every sector aiming to improve patients ‘lives. To reflect on my years of therapies, I experienced that the diagnosis and treatments are becoming more advanced. We have clearer paths and guidelines for cancer care than ever before.”
This interview was more relaxed than we ever could have imagined. Oil was so very cheerful and look at life in a very optimistic way- which made us realize how strong she was. More importantly we could feel positive energy radiating out to all of us. Her hopes and beliefs in novel treatments encourage her to have more strength and hope to fight against cancer.
Oil Ireal Trisansri, Founder of ART of CANCER
Diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time in 2011 when she was 27 years old, her life was completely turned around. A young woman who was planning to pursue her study abroad had to drop everything to receive cancer treatment. A few years later, the cancer recurred, but it could not take her life away from her. To inspire cancer patients to fight and never lose, She started and run the ART for CANCER (social business enterprise) By Ireal, where she uses art as a medium to improve the lives of cancer patients in need.