The industrial corridor between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is sometimes referred to around here as “Cancer Alley.” The name comes from the refineries and chemical plants that dump waste into the air, land and water. If Oleander Medical Technologies succeeds in its plan, “Cancer Alley” is going to have a whole new meaning. On this edition of Out to Lunch, Peter Ricchiuti is looking at the other side of Cancer Alley.

Based between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the two ends of Cancer Alley, Oleander Medical Technologies are pioneering a revolutionary breakthrough in what may – very soon – turn out to be a real cure for many types of cancer.

Paige Miller pioneers the other side of cancer alley

Paige Miller

Paige Miller, President of Oleander Medical Technologies, explains what seems to be almost impossible to imagine: far from the months of tortuous chemo-therapy we’re used to, this new treatment takes 15 minutes, in clinical trials it appears to be working, and its side effects are at worst “flu-like symptoms.”

In the best of all possible worlds, we will learn how to prevent contracting cancer in the first place through what’s called “preventive medicine.” We’ve begun walking down this path already in recent years as we’ve come to realize there’s a link between our health and our diet.

But, although we now take much more individual responsibility for eating healthy, the medical profession as a whole isn’t keeping up with us. Think about this: When was the last time your doctor asked you what you eat? And wrote your answer into your medical records?

Molly Hegarty shakes up your doctor visit

Molly Hegarty

Now, thanks to a piece of technology called Junum, your doctor can do just that. Molly Hegarty combined her background in engineering and her career in nutrition to found Junum in 2017 and runs the growing healthcare company today as its CEO.

Junum is a tech tool for doctors. It’s a secure platform that helps clinicians easily record relevant nutrition information about a patient so that this info becomes part of electronic health records and helps doctors make nutrition-related medical diagnoses.

You’re going to walk away from this conversation inspired and amazed at what is happening on the other side of Cancer Alley.

Paige Miller and Molly Hegart Out to Lunch with Peter Ricchiuti

Paige Miller, Molly Hegarty, Peter Ricchiuti

Out to Lunch is recorded over lunch at Commander’s Palace restaurant in New Orleans. Photos by Alison Moon.

Check out more about local healthcare startups here.

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