Manju George

I am Dr. Manju George, a stage IIIb rectal cancer survivor. I am a veterinarian by training and have a PhD in veterinary virology and over a decade of biomedical research experience in the field of cell and cancer biology. Immediately following my diagnosis in 2017, I joined COLONTOWN, an online, international colorectal cancer patient and caregiver support and education community. This was transformative for me in multiple ways. Patient experiences with rectal cancer treatment in COLONTOWN enabled me to navigate my care in such a way that I could ask for the minimum treatment that provided the maximum benefit for my type of cancer, and receive it. Beyond this, my interactions in the community paved the way for me to become engaged in patient advocacy. My personal disease experience coupled with my training allowed me to have a specific perspective which helped me “translate” scientific research for fellow patients who did not have a scientific or medical background. I found this very fulfilling and not surprisingly, I am engaged in many patient advocacy efforts including working for Paltown, the non-profit that supports COLONTOWN as their Scientific Director, where I help with patient education efforts on COLONTOWN University. In addition, I am a patient advocate at the NCI Rectal Anal Task Force and have had the opportunity to share my perspectives with the FDA, and serve as a Patient Advocate Faculty at the AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Trials workshop. I also organize #CRCTrialsChat, a monthly tweetchat with clinician moderators, to provide patient education on CRC clinical trials.