PROFESSOR BOGDA KOCZWARA
Name: Bogda Koczwara
Department: Cancer Survivorship
Major project: Supporting the needs of cancer survivors. This work focuses on developing strategies for providing information, resources and lifestyle interventions for cancer survivors to enable them to maintain health and return to normal life after cancer treatment.
How long have you worked at Flinders?
What led you to this area of research?
Through seeing patients in clinic I note that our care is often focussed on the acute phase of cancer where tests are done and treatment is given. Often after that phase is completed, the patient is left with much less direction or support and yet, they are entering a completely new life, the life "after cancer” with often new health care needs, and many new concerns both physical and emotional – how to return to work, how to cope with late effect of cancer treatment, how to stop worrying about recurrence. I have seen many of my patients struggle at that time both physically and emotionally. As we now cure so many more cancers, we need to develop ways of helping our patients to adjust to life as a cancer survivor and the challenges it entails.
What other collaborations are you working on?
I am interested in developing innovative ways of cancer care delivery, more specifically in developing innovative ways of engaging primary care in cancer especially in rural areas and in developing complementary care in cancer care and providing an integrative model of oncology.
Approximately when could we see your work in the mainstream health system?
My work impacts on patient care from its very outset and results of our research are implemented straight away into clinical practice. We engage patients in the design process of research, seek their feedback during its conduct and bring our findings to the clinical setting. Our centre runs one of the few Survivorship Care Programs in the country and in the world.
What does an average day in your job at Flinders entail?
My day varies daily from seeing patients in clinic, to meeting with researchers, to teaching junior doctors and nurses to planning new interventions. Never boring and never slow.
Have you had a Eureka moment or ever discovered anything by accident?
I have had many moments of inspirations but I would not call them accidents. I would be inspired by listening to my patients; they usually know well of what matters to them and they are often unconstrained by the traditional views of delivering health care. Listening to their needs keeps me on track
How would extra funding support your research?
Extra funding would allow us to purchase equipment to develop a complementary care program within the Centre and to study innovative ways of providing patients with information and education.