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Breast cancer study finds survival increases when time between diagnosis and concluding treatments is limited

Research found a decrease in patient survival rates when treatment options – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation – are completed more than 38 weeks from the time of diagnosis.



Research from Cleveland Clinic in the U.S. and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in the U.A.E. has found a decrease in patient survival rates when treatment options – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation – are completed more than 38 weeks from the time of diagnosis. 

The observational study, which included more than 28,000 breast cancer patients registered in the American National Cancer Database, is the largest of its kind to evaluate breast cancer survival and time to completion for all therapies. It found the treatment duration of less than 38 weeks was associated with a higher five-year survival –  89.9 percent compared to the 83.3 percent in the greater than 38 weeks treatment duration. This builds on previous research that noted poorer outcomes when there was a delay in time to treatment initiation, although time to treatment completion was not assessed in these studies.

The study’s authors point out it is important to identify the reasons for delays in treatment and where in the process they occur, and to design programs to measure and pursue optimization of time to treatment to decrease anxiety for patients and improve their chances of survival.

“The biggest difference in our study from others that have looked at time to treat was that we looked at the time from diagnosis to the completion of the multimodality treatment, not only at one individual part, to identify the 38-week window to improve survival rate for patients with breast cancer,” said Debra Pratt M.D., director of the Breast Center at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital, and the lead author of the study.

“In breast and other cancers, patients don’t only get surgery, but may also require chemotherapy and radiation therapy,” Dr. Pratt said. “This becomes a complicated system to navigate and there are multiple reasons why delays arise in treatment being completed. This analysis helps us identify opportunities for improving care within the delivery systems.”

Other studies evaluating the time to treatment for breast cancer by individual treatment modality have concluded that the optimal time from diagnosis to first surgical treatment was less than 90 days from diagnosis; less than 120 days from diagnosis to adjuvant chemotherapy; and when chemo is administered, the radiation should start less than 365 days from date of diagnosis.  The last two are consistent with Commission on Cancer’s Cancer Central Clinical Participant Registry (C3PR) quality indicators.

“What we found is that the optimal time for treatment completion is 99 days shorter than C3PR quality indicators,” Dr. Pratt said. “We have so much more data now to reassess these quality indicators and determine what those metrics should be.”

The study did not allow researchers to gauge the causes for delays beyond 38 weeks, but Dr. Pratt said from experience, she can divide them into medical, personal and systemic factors.

“If patients have medical issues, they may have to go through other assessments, such as cardiac clearance, which are done as a precaution,” she explained. “These are the hardest to control. Other delays are personal, for example, where the patient does not want to be seen at the first appointment available because of financial reasons or chooses to prioritize a family event over surgery.”

She says medical facilities can, however, control some of the systemic factors to speed up the process. These include adequate staffing and improved systems to increase ease of access, such as making special reservations to schedule urgent assessments like metastatic surveys and breast MRI, as well as a reduction in insurance delays in approving tests required to complete pre-treatment assessments.  

Stephen Grobmyer M.D., chair of the Oncology Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an integral part of Mubadala Health, and a co-author on the study, says that care must be consolidated to help patients receive treatment on time.

“What we see happen traditionally in the U.S. and even in the U.A.E. is that the patient has to visit multiple specialists – first a surgeon, then a medical oncologist for chemotherapy followed by a radiation oncologist – all of which are scheduled weeks apart and in different places,” he said. “There is this phenomenon of ‘serial care,’ rather than coordinated and planned care.”

Dr. Grobmyer adds that Cleveland Clinic has tried to avoid this issue with their coordinated multidisciplinary cancer programing. For example, in preparation of the opening of its cancer tower, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi opened its dedicated Breast Health Clinic last year. The facility offers targeted diagnostic testing, genetic counseling, innovative therapies and treatments, as well as reconstruction specialists and disease-specific experts to address all breast health issues, in one location and in the shortest time possible.

“We are trying to anticipate the needs of the patients and plan for all their treatment from the beginning so that it is seamless, efficient and reduces their anxiety,” he said. “We have also started measuring time to treatment as a quality measure.”

Dr. Pratt said further studies to determine which type of treatment has the most delays will aid their efforts in optimizing care.

“One of the data points missing in our study was the last day of chemotherapy for these patients, so we could not determine where the majority of delays occurred,” she said. “One of my hopes is to look at our patients’ data to know where the challenges lie and how we can fix them.”.


Pru Life UK named International Life Insurer of the Year



Insurance Asia Awards, one of the prestigious recognition programs honoring the most outstanding insurance companies in Asia Pacific, cited Pru Life UK as the International Life Insurer of the Year – Philippines for the third year. The award-giving body recognized Pru Life UK’s innovations, new products, strategic partnerships, and community investment initiatives related to youth financial literacy, climate health risk management, and OFW protection.

“We are deeply honored to receive this coveted award for the third time in a row. Our heartfelt thanks to our employees, agency force, distribution partners, and more especially, our loyal customers for this remarkable feat,” said Allan Tumbaga, Pru Life UK Executive Vice President and Chief Customer & Marketing Officer.

Adding to its growing list of accolades, Pru Life UK was also conferred with a Bronze Stevie at the recent Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards for the Innovation in Internal Corporate Events category. The Byaheng PRU Engagement Program, a project of its Employee Welfare Committee, has been instrumental in fostering collaboration among employees from various divisions and empowering over 900 full-time employees to lead their own company-wide initiatives for growth and success.

Empowering Filipinos through financial inclusion and affordable protection

Over the past years, Pru Life UK has championed financial awareness, literacy, and inclusion among Filipinos through innovative insurance products.

One such product, PRUHealth FamLove, is a pioneering critical illness protection plan that covers up to 4 family members in a single policy, including adopted families, cohabiting couples, and same-sex partners.

Furthermore, through strategic partnerships with popular e-commerce platforms GCash and Shopee, Pru Life UK has made bite-sized insurance products even more accessible to its customers.

“These recognitions inspire us to continue fulfilling our commitment to helping more Filipino families live healthier and wealthier. With our over 40,000 digitally empowered agency force, we remain dedicated to putting our customers at the heart of everything we do by providing inclusive and affordable products addressing their diverse needs,” said Tumbaga.

These awards mark another milestone for Pru Life UK as Prudential plc, its parent company, celebrates its 175th anniversary, including 100 years in Asia.

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Pru Life UK, Prudence Foundation partner with ASSIST for Project Padayon

The project which is funded by Prudence Foundation’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant aims to help uplift the lives of residents of Bantayan Island, Cebu through a series of community-based training and development programs.



Pru Life UK and Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential plc in Asia and Africa, have joined hands with the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) for Project Padayon Bantayan Island.

The project which is funded by Prudence Foundation’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant aims to help uplift the lives of residents of Bantayan Island, Cebu through a series of community-based training and development programs.

“We’ve been supporting the Bantayan Island community for almost a decade now and we are happy to see how it has grown. With Project Padayon, we are positive that it will bring transformative improvements, enabling the residents to thrive in multiple aspects of their lives,’’ says Marc Fancy, Executive Director, Prudence Foundation.

Project Padayon will run from 11 July to 1 December 2023 and include workshops focused on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) empowerment, family health and nutrition, jobs and careers, disaster risk preparedness, and climate change resilience. Participants will receive modules that will be cascaded to up to 2,000 students and community members.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner once more with Pru Life UK and Prudence Foundation. This partnership aims to empower the residents of Bantayan Island through a comprehensive learning program that will touch on different topics like financial well-being, health, and disaster resilience to help them prepare for the future,’’ says Francis Macatulad, Executive Director, ASSIST.

The project will culminate with an appreciation and recognition program in December, followed by a Pamaskong Handog with Habitat for Humanity communities that Pru Life UK and Prudence Foundation helped build after typhoon Yolanda

Transforming lives in Bantayan Island

The project was launched at Beach Placid Resort in Santa Fe, Cebu and was attended by local government unit representatives and community leaders of Bantayan Island.

“We are happy to be back in Bantayan Island and see familiar faces. At Pru Life UK, it is our mission to help Filipinos get the most out of life. This project is a big opportunity for us to fulfill our commitment to help Filipinos lead healthier and wealthier lives,’’ says Gizelle Camua, Vice President for Community Investment and Advocacy, Pru Life UK.

Close to 100 micro-entrepreneurs joined a workshop with the theme “MSME Empowerment.” Attendees received modules on business management, finance, and digital marketing materials, which will also be cascaded to 1,000 other micro-entrepreneurs. They also learned best practices from young local entrepreneurs that shared their real-life experiences.

In addition, over 80 mothers with their newborns were given free PRUMedCare Select Infectious Disease coverage plan as part of the PRUBabies campaign. The coverage offers cash assistance for diagnosis and death due to any of the four common types of infectious diseases: dengue, typhoid, measles, and malaria.

Propelling impactful conversations

Project Padayon is a continuing initiative rooted in Pru Life UK and Prudence Foundation’s commitment to developing Filipino lives through impactful conversations on the importance of financial literacy and health awareness.

Pru Life UK has been actively involved in aiding Bantayan Island since 2013 by means of humanitarian initiatives, including gift-giving programs, the provision of essential food packages, and the establishment of water supply networks alongside the deployment of portable ultrasound machines.

The same year, Pru Life UK and Prudence Foundation launched Build Better Now. The project brought PRUVolunteers all over Asia and the United Kingdom to build 126 disaster-resilient homes and disseminate 183 motorized boats with fishing nets and 140 cycle pedicabs to Yolanda survivors on the island. Build Better Now ran until 2017 and earned the Award of Merit under the Communications Management – Corporate Social Responsibility category.

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RLC Residences gets global recognitions in Dubai

The awards also came in time for the brand’s efforts to expand its network in Dubai, as RLC Residences prepares to open its new office in the city. This strategic move aims to provide delightful customer service to investors and homebuyers in the Middle East region who have long supported the brand and its projects.



In a promising kickoff to the month, the residential division of Robinsons Land Corporation, RLC Residences, has clinched two prestigious awards for its dedication to constructing beautiful, well-designed condominiums in the Philippines.

Dubai-based International Business Magazine Awards hailed RLC Residences as the recipient of Real Estate Developer of the Year Philippines and Best Property Development Company in the Philippines 2023 during its recent awarding ceremony at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. The annual awarding ceremony honors the extraordinary accomplishments of companies from various sectors such as real estate in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.

“It is an honor to receive international recognitions like these for RLC Residences. We are proud of the work that we do and of our commitment to building nurturing condo spaces so our homeowners can design and live their best lives. Thank you so much, International Business Magazine Awards, for recognizing our efforts to Raise, Live, and Connect not just here in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world,” says Karen Cesario, RLC Residences Senior Director, Marketing Head and Chief Integration Officer.

The awards also came in time for the brand’s efforts to expand its network in Dubai, as RLC Residences prepares to open its new office in the city. This strategic move aims to provide delightful customer service to investors and homebuyers in the Middle East region who have long supported the brand and its projects.

Now in its 6th year, the International Business Magazine Awards annually highlights the exemplary endeavors of corporations that consistently demonstrate exceptional leadership abilities. This UAE-based online publishing company continuously strives to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and dedication to achieving success in the competitive world of international business.

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