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When you become an advocate in your cancer care, you become empowered to fight the disease.
The first step in cancer self-advocacy is finding quality cancer care, including an experienced, multidisciplinary team of cancer experts. Once you have the right team in place, you’ll need to learn how to effectively partner with your care team.
A good partnership with your cancer team is based on trust and open communication. Yet, talking about your cancer experience can be a challenge.
If you are dealing with certain symptoms, you may hesitate to mention it because of time constraints, or you may think other aspects of your treatment are more important. You may also find it difficult to comprehend the information you receive, but feel uncomfortable asking questions.
A good relationship with your doctor is important for many reasons. It can help you:
Self-advocacy teaches you to assert your needs and talk openly with your cancer team. In return, your doctors should treat you as an individual, take time to listen to you, and involve you in important treatment-related decisions.
Learning how to partner with your cancer team is the next important step to self-advocacy and empowerment.
NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDER REGARDING YOUR CANCER CARE.
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