Cancer Advocacy – Helping Yourself and Others

Cancer Advocacy – Helping Yourself and Others

Cancer advocacy is an activity that can positively affect both your own experience with cancer and the cancer experiences of others. Whether you have already gone through treatment or are just getting started, taking the time to become a cancer advocate can be rewarding on many levels. Learn how to become a cancer advocate so you can help yourself and others.

Self-Advocacy for Cancer

If you are currently undergoing treatment, then your primary interest may be taking an active role in your own treatment. Self-advocacy simply requires you to become more of a participant when it comes to planning your treatment regiment and seeking support when necessary. Ways that you can become an advocate for yourself include:

  • Asking additional questions while visiting with your doctor

  • Becoming an expert on your type of cancer by reviewing online websites and other resources

  • Investigating available cancer financial and support options via the National Cancer Institute and other resources

  • Reviewing medical journals to find alternative methods of treatment

  • Seeking the help of cancer support groups, counseling centers or fitness classes

  • Getting a second opinion

  • Getting proactive about health care costs and insurance

Cancer Advocacy for Others

Cancer patients often feel compelled to become a cancer advocate. Doing so can be a rewarding commitment, and ultimately help ease the pain and suffering of patients who are currently going through treatment. Cancer advocacy can come in a variety of ways, including:

  • Raising public awareness

  • Assisting with fundraisers

  • Providing assistance to individual cancer patients

  • Finding ways to advance cancer research

  • Informing others through online blogs

  • Lobbying for legislative changes

If you are interested in becoming an advocate, it is recommended you research all opportunities available in your area to find the best fit for your interests and skills. If you enjoy working one-on-one with patients, then helping to lead a support group may be a good option. If you are adept at public speaking, then raising awareness at local civic groups can be a good opportunity.

For those interested in getting involved with public policy and other advocacy goals on a state or national level, consider getting in touch with the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO).