Data Driven Doc: Empower in The Process


A friend of mine reached out to me to check in on what to do after a mastectomy. She is in her early twenties, and just prior to graduating from college had been struck with invasive breast cancer without a predisposing family history.

What is the benefit of increasing survival over 10 years by 4%?  Navya’s risk estimates projected a 3-8% chance of reducing mortality in 10 years by adding chemotherapy to hormones. But adding chemo came with real risks – infertility, premature ovarian failure, and a small but real risk of infections and major side effects.

How does one make these real-life trade offs?

Data. Expertise. Personal values. These drive every decision that Navya informs.

Ultimately, we start with good data. We don’t skip any steps. We get individualized risk models from the evidence to generate a range of probabilities that assign realistic numbers to various events. Navya’s evidence engine allows us to generate these estimates in real time with the best available data. We then piece it together with what the patient wants given this playing field. We think this is the strongest predictor of whether a person will ultimately be happy with their decision or not. Finally, we ask several experts in the field – to get the best eyes possible to review the facts and the decisions in real time.

Ultimately 4% over 10 years was still enough for someone in their early 20s. The long tail of Breast Cancer recurrences that happen late were enough to move her to brace for chemotherapy.

Data. Expertise. Personal values. These drive every decision that Navya informs. It’s eye opening no matter how many times or how many people we empower in the process.

-Dr. Naresh Ramarajan

Online Expert Opinion:
Tata Trusts:
Tata Memorial Center:

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