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HomeTestimonials Decision MakingA Less Invasive Option for Ms. Jones

A Less Invasive Option for Ms. Jones

At first, Ms. Jones thought extensive surgery was in order. After a Medix review, the prospects didn’t seem as grim

Ms. Jones is a 44 year old lady based in South Africa. Her medical history was unremarkable for many years, until a routine self-examination revealed a lump in her breast. Feeling alarmed, Ms. Jones quickly scheduled a mammogram and ultrasound. 
 
Tests confirmed the diagnosis of invasive ductal breast cancer. Faced with this diagnosis, a number of difficult questions arose; what would be the most appropriate treatment? Where would be the best location to receive it? Being an English national, returning home for treatment was a viable option, however it would entail postponing the beginning of treatment; effectively wasting potentially precious time. In addition, Ms. Jones did not yet know what type of treatment she would need. 
 
Numerous approaches are available for treatment of breast cancer, each varying in nature and degree of invasiveness; ranging from chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and surgery. Correctly assessing a patient’s condition by doing the needed tests and asking the right questions is essential to identifying a treatment combination that would be optimally advantageous for the patient. 
 
In an attempt to answer these questions, Ms. Jones scheduled an appointment with a General Surgeon in South Africa to get an initial recommendation. Following her appointment, the consultant advised that a mastectomy, the most invasive form of treatment, would be the best treatment option. Feeling stressed with such an extensive procedure, Ms. Jones asked Medix to review her case and suggest the best course of treatment. 
 
A consultation was immediately sent to a leading breast oncology specialist. The first step was to review all the medical information, so as to establish the required level of urgency. This did show positive prognostic factors, and therefore it was deemed safe to travel back to the UK for treatment.
 
With regard to the type of surgery, our consultant felt that there were some less invasive options; however some additional investigations would be required. In Ms. Jones' case a mastectomy would usually be recommended in the case of bilateral or multicentric disease; in simple terms, when there are suspicious cancer cells in both breasts, or when more than one lesion is present in the same breast.
 
In lieu of this information, Ms. Jones was referred by Medix for a breast MRI to ensure she has no more than one lesion and Oncotype testing, which essentially assess the possible need, efficacy of chemotherapy and the risk of recurrence following surgery which helps with decision making regarding treatment.
 
After receiving the test results, all the information was integrated by the leading oncologist and the case manager assigned to Ms. Jones, who concluded that a mastectomy was not required.
 
Instead, breast conserving surgery called a lumpectomy was recommended in combination with post-surgical radiotherapy.
 
Ms. Jones was thrilled with these recommendations, and proceeded to schedule the surgery in the UK. The procedure was performed successfully with no complications. Having an extra set of experts on her side, Ms. Jones was given the tools she needed to make informed decisions about her treatment at every turn, sparing herself unnecessary surgery and chemotherapy. 
 
Medix continued to support Ms. Jones through her post-operative period, keeping close watch of her condition and making sure that an organized follow up plan was in place. Ms. Jones has returned to South Africa and continues to do well.
 
Names have been changed to protect the privacy of Medix clients   
 

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