Frequently Asked Questions
What is the COC Protocol?
At Care Oncology, our aim has always been to empower patients to understand more about their metabolic health. Our COC Protocol program enables you to take this one step further via access to objective data about your health, coupled with oncologist-guided analysis. It is well understood that there are certain fundamental parameters that, when optimized, may serve to improve outcomes in cancer patients. The aim of COC Protocol, is to evaluate these specific measures, both via advanced blood tests (that are not usually performed by oncologists or GPs) and an in-depth questionnaire, and then provide actionable insights and recommendations to our patients based on their personalized results.
Who is the Protocol For? Does the Protocol Treat My Kind of Cancer?
Since The COC Protocol targets the altered metabolic mechanisms which are common to most cancers, we believe the COC Protocol can be used in patients with any cancer regardless of specific type, stage, or location. Patients aged 18 and over may engage with Care Oncology at different points in their cancer journey. You could be someone who has:
- a new diagnosis and is about to begin systemic treatment for a type of cancer which carries a risk of progression or recurrence
- completed a course of cancer treatment and is on active surveillance
- no evidence of disease (NED) but is at risk of recurrence
- disease progression and commencing further lines of therapy
- commenced palliative care
What specific recommendations might your Physician make?
Your Care Oncology oncologist will carefully review your COC Protocol data and make individualized, evidence-based recommendations to help drive improvements. This may include advice around diet and nutrition, stress, sleep, exercise, as well as the recommendation or prescription of a specific set of supplements with an literature support in the cancer setting.
In addition, where applicable, COC Protocol data will enable our clinical team to objectively optimize the dosing of COC Protocol medications. As always, we will monitor you closely, and provide ongoing support as you implement the specific COC Protocol recommendations into your daily routines. We are also able to track changes over time in key biomarkers and lifestyle modifications and evaluate their potential impact on your quality of life and cancer outcomes.
What Blood Tests Are Included in the Biomarker Panel?
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) – including (but not limited to) total white blood cell count and differential, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, platelets, red cell distribution width, mean cell volume, hematocrit.
- Kidney function – including (but not limited to) BUN (blood urea nitrogen), creatinine, calcium.
- Liver function – including (but not limited to) bilirubin, alanine aminotransferase, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, globulins, total protein.
- Specific inflammatory markers – including (but not limited to) high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, early-morning cortisol, vitamin D.
- Specific metabolic markers – including (but not limited to) lactate dehydrogenase, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting insulin, fasting glucose, HOMA-IR.
- Full lipid/cholesterol panel – including (but not limited to) total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, triglyceride/HDL ratio, non-HDL cholesterol.
Are repeat blood tests needed for every follow up appointment?
The blood panel is a core component of the COC Protocol program, as it is the specific parameters we measure that are known to have strong associations with cancer outcomes. Therefore, being able to objectively measure and track these biomarkers, in response to the interventions that our oncologists recommend is critically important. However, your exact follow up testing will be discussed with you by your oncologist, and depending on your clinical picture, may not need to be repeated every three months.
Will you tell me which diet to follow and which supplements to take?
Our doctors always want to know about any supplements you are taking or considering, so that known side-effect or interaction risks can be considered, especially in terms of how they relate to your COC Protocol treatment. We aim to provide a framework to help you with decision-making and prioritization – it is always important to weigh the risk versus benefit potential of additional interventions.
However, supplement and diet advice in isolation is not what COC Protocol is about. COC Protocol is powered by the testing of non-routine blood markers of inflammatory and metabolic health which have been shown to have prognostic value in cancer i.e., if certain parameters are out of range and steps can be taken to improve them, there may be greater potential for a positive outcome.
Therefore, the evidence-based lifestyle advice around nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, together with recommendation/prescription of specific supplements, are informed by your individual blood results and questionnaire responses. In some scenarios, your blood results and responses may even indicate that rationalizing or scaling back what you are doing or taking may have the greatest positive impact on your metabolic health.
How long should I stay on the COC Protocol program for?
This is entirely up to you and should be discussed with your oncologist. Making successful and meaningful lifestyle changes involves a process that takes time and requires support.Tracking your results over a period, gives you the opportunity to visualize the real-time benefits of the changes you are making.Once enrolled, you can stay on the COC Protocol program for as long as you feel necessary, to continuously measure your progress and implement positive changes. You also have the option to flexibly move back to the COC core program at any time, and then transition back to COC Protocol again in future.
A Personal Health Report with actionable insights
Once blood results are shared with us, we will perform unique interpretations of this data, and present the findings to you inclusive of our specialist insights. Your report includes in-depth analysis of your modifiable risk factors, together with practical advice, and recommendations. The goals is to try to improve areas where you have elevated markers and to adopt recommendations to improve them. Follow up testing is in place to help you monitor your progress.
How Do I Book a Oncologists Appointment?
All appointments are conducted via telemedicine, enabling access to our expert oncologists from the comfort of your own home. Before you can meet with a oncologist, you need to complete our online enrollment process. This includes providing us with:
- Your name, contact information and location
- Information on your current health status (just a few simple questions)
- Payment information to cover your first appointment
How It Works
Upon successful enrollment, you will be asked to send us your baseline medical records for review. You will be able to submit your records via our HIPAA compliant, secure channel. Once we receive these records, a patient care coordinator will contact you to schedule your first appointment with a Care Oncology oncologist. If required, we can assist you in obtaining any records and supporting information relevant to your care. We can also assist with ordering baseline blood tests if you do not have a recent set of blood results available for review. In most cases, our oncologists require blood results from samples collected no more than 6 weeks before the date of your COC appointment.
- You’ll receive a lab order for blood tests* to assess your metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers that will guide interventions and recommendations.
- When your labs are back, we will schedule a comprehensive oncologist consultation to review your data and map your intervention strategy.
- You’ll receive a personalized health report with actionable information to improve your overall scores.
If you’re ready to get started with COC Protocol, you can do so by going directly to our Enrollment page above.
Do You Have a Treatment Center Near Me? Where are You located?
We’re a global company and available to most patients throughout the world via telehealth.