|SUE - a breast cancer survivor||
I for one, don't look or like statistics but I recently read an article that stated that over the past two decades, the fiver year survival rate for the 15 most common cancers has increased from 43-64 percent for men and from 57-64 percent for women. We are in such a time of state of the art science where we are researching and working adamantly at improving diagnosis and treatment and in turn overall long term survival with most paitents diagnosed with cancer. If you are a cancer patient or survivor. . . what are your needs, are they being adequately addressed, are you being open and honest about what those needs are? Do you understand your illness, treatment and related services, have you been given tools to help you manage your illness and cope with the emotions surrounding your illness and treatment, are your financial needs being attended to and what about your work and the disruption that this illness has placed on you and your family? It isn't just about treating the illness. There is a whole network behind the scenes working to help you through your process even before you hit the door and during your time receiving treatment and even follow up. First and foremost your job is to communicate and to verbalize. How many times has a patient told me one thing and the family another? It is our job to identify those needs and design and implement a plan that will link your needs together and help you transition through this period. This is no small job but one that we continue to look to improve and expand on. There is an entire multidisciplinary team working on this process and how to effectively address your issues. Those assessment papers that you fill out and the questions you answer are all a part of what goes into developing your most effective plan. So I ask, please be honest, open and communicate and when and what you don't understand, let us know.