Christina Haywood was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer - but thanks to advances in precision medicine, she received specialized care that significantly improved her chances for a long and healthy life.
After diagnosis, Christina was referred to Dr. Manish Bhandari, an oncologist at The Christ Hospital. Christina has had five close family members also diagnosed with various types of cancer, so from their first appointment, he suspected a genetic link between her family's cancers and encouraged her to undergo genetic testing. Testing revealed that Christina had a rare disorder called Muir-Torre Syndrome, which causes early onset cancer. "She got a different chemotherapy regimen that is scientifically shown to work better for people with her condition," Dr. Bhandari says.
Christina has been in remission since 2014, but remains vigilant against future cancers.
Success stories like hers are becoming more common as precision medicine strategies become a routine part of treatment. "We have a very active research department that's working with these new technologies," Dr. Bhandari says. "Over the next decade, we'll see even more genetic testing to better predict your risk of disease states."