Ms Diana Pratanto from PCC’s CanHOPE regional office in Jakarta knows what it’s like to battle with cancer.
Ms Diana Pratanto knows first-hand how it feels when a loved one has cancer. She brings her experience to bear in her job as the main representative of Parkway Cancer Centre in Jakarta.
Ms Diana Pratanto, the Senior Manager (Marketing and Services) at Parkway Patients Assistance Centre in Jakarta, speaks with great conviction when she says that Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC) saves lives. That is because she has seen it for herself.
Seven years ago, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though Ms Pratanto was well acquainted with cancer because of her job, when she heard the news, she was devastated.
“I thought my mother was going to die,” she recalled.
She brought her mother to see Dr Khoo Kei Siong, Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology, at PCC. Dr Khoo recommended surgery and then chemotherapy.
The road to recovery was hard, Ms Pratanto said. Her mother lost her hair and didn’t have an appetite because of the chemotherapy. But she fought on and today, her mother’s cancer is in remission.
Speed and efficacy are the key words for her. “You can go to Singapore and get everything done in five days from consultation to biopsy,” she said.
Apart from speed, she also believes PCC provides excellent medical care.
A patient she knows, who is a dentist, suffered from low haemoglobin counts and needed monthly blood transfusions. After a test in Jakarta, she was diagnosed with leukaemia and they recommended that she begin chemotherapy.
“I advised her to go to Singapore for a second opinion and she consulted with Dr Freddy Teo (Senior Consultant, Haematology, PCC),” said Ms Pratanto.
The patient was asked to repeat her bone marrow test because her clinical appearance didn’t match that of a leukaemia patient. When the results came back, they confirmed that she did not have leukaemia. Instead she had aplastic anaemia, an autoimmune disease that stops her bone marrow from producing haemoglobin.
“With routine medication, she is now OK and enjoying her life,” she said.
Stories like these make it easy for Ms Pratanto to encourage patients to seek treatment at PCC.
Currently, she gets about 10 enquiries per month and between five to eight people are eventually sent to Singapore. She helps these patients to book appointments with the relevant specialists and explains the process to them.
She also organises an active patient support group in Jakarta. They have cooking classes, health talks and everyone is a member of a WhatsApp group that allows them to talk, ask questions and share their fears.
Based on her experience, her advice to cancer patients is to not delay seeking proper help. “Don’t seek alternative treatments. A lot of people in Indonesia turn to jamu and traditional Chinese medicine,” she noted.
“Have your diagnosis confirmed, then, decide on your options. You have to get it right the first time.”
By Jimmy Yap