Traci Mangan has been on a challenging journey since June, battling breast cancer while participating in the “Making Strides of Hampton Roads” event with her team, “Saving 2nd Base.”
“It’s overwhelming,” she shared with News 3. Alongside her fight against cancer, she’s also grappling with a nationwide shortage of crucial cancer drugs, including cisplatin and carboplatin, vital components of many cancer chemotherapy treatments.
“I just think it’s unfair that there’s a shortage when somebody’s going through this,” Mangan expressed. “That’s the last thing that you need to worry about is that you cannot get your medication to live.”
The American Cancer Society recently released the results of a new survey, revealing that recent drug shortages have impacted one in ten patients currently undergoing active cancer treatment. The survey also highlighted that many patients struggled to find substitute medications and experienced treatment delays.
Dr. Bruce Waldoholtz, a member of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network National Board of Directors, expressed his concern, saying, “It’s really heartbreaking.” He emphasized the challenges posed by the low cost of these drugs, resulting in a limited number of manufacturers. “If there’s a supply chain issue with one manufacturer or a delay in delivering those drugs for whatever reason, then patients who are currently getting therapy are at risk,” Dr. Waldoholtz explained.
Nicky Dozier, the clinical director for Virginia Oncology Associates, acknowledged the difficulties in securing pivotal drugs and stated, “This is the worst drug shortage in my career, and I’ve been in oncology for a long time.”
Despite the shortages, healthcare providers have been working to expand patient treatment options and explore alternative drugs when possible.
White House officials have reported that the FDA is actively addressing this issue by collaborating closely with drug manufacturers to identify solutions and encouraging companies that had ceased production of these drugs to re-enter the U.S. market.
While facing these challenges, Traci Mangan remains hopeful and focused on completing her treatment, saying, “Friday, when I ring my bell, I’m going to have another big margarita to celebrate because you have to celebrate it.”
For those currently undergoing cancer treatment, Dr. Waldholtz advises speaking with your healthcare provider to explore available options for your treatment plan.