Colon Cancer Case Study
Dr Ballinger uses Alivia to find Cutting Edge Treatment Options
Bethany Ballinger has stage IV colon cancer, also known as bowel cancer, and approached Alivia in 2016 after hearing about an article in a national newspaper.
As a doctor herself, she recognised the benefit of having a specialist company do the research to help her find a top doctor to offer her a second opinion. This is her story.
Colon Cancer Case Study – Background
U.K. born Dr. Bethany Ballinger is the Program Director for the University of Central Florida College of Medicine (UCF COM) in Florida, USA. Dr. Ballinger is also a practising physician at Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, Florida, and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCF College of Medicine.
Unfortunately, being a recognised Emergency Doctor does not make you exempt from being dealt the cruel blow of a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Ballinger was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2015, and this is her story.
In November 2015, Dr. Ballinger was presented with a very uncomfortable abdominal pain and was rushed to hospital. This was diagnosed upon arrival as a ruptured appendix. But the cause was more serious – after further tests Bethany was told she had colon cancer (sometimes known as bowel cancer or colorectal cancer) and it was in stage four. The cancer had also spread to Dr. Ballinger’s liver and lungs.
As a doctor, Dr. Ballinger practices evidence based medicine on a daily basis, but she never thought she would have to practice it on herself. But Dr. Ballinger was in a unique position with her colon cancer diagnosis.
She had access to very specific scientific search engines, through her role in the hospital and the University of Central Florida. This allowed her to examine all the latest treatment options for her colon cancer diagnosis.
One might think that with these resources at her disposal, surely a well-qualified doctor would not need a company like Alivia?
What Alivia Did
Dr. Ballinger soon realised that because she was neither an oncologist nor a specialist in the field of metastatic colon cancer (colon cancer that has spread to other parts of the body), she needed further help.
Searching online for material on her condition yielded millions of pages which she knew that even with this information at her disposal, she needed the access and expertise that Alivia could offer.
Therefore, in June 2016 Dr. Ballinger engaged Alivia to assist with management of her case.
She was immediately assigned a dedicated Personal Health Manager who collated her relevant medical files and images which were sent to Alivia’s in-house research team – the Medical Intelligence Unit – for review and analysis.
Dr. Ballinger had seen leading international physicians at medical centres of excellence that specialise on cancer in New York but wanted Alivia to identify non-standard – “out of the box” treatment solutions.
In addition to scouring international peer reviewed scientific and medical journals, using Alivia’s extensive contact network to verify our analyses with leading specialists, researchers from Alivia’s Medical Intelligence Unit also examined which clinical trials could be relevant for Dr.Ballinger’s condition.
Alivia helped identify a world leading doctor in London to opine on her case and is now under his care remotely under the watchful eye of Alivia’s Medical Intelligence Unit.
Dr. Ballinger is still fighting her disease and her condition is stable. We hope to be able to assist her further in the future if necessary.