Patients, family members, and caregivers will find tools and support on this page that focus on patient empowerment and address:
>> Advocating for Yourself — National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Topics and guides in the Resources menu include "Cancer Survival Toolbox," "Talking with Your Doctor," "Taking Charge of Your Care Toolkit," and "Post-Treatment Planning."
>> Becoming More Tech-Savvy Online — Patient Empowerment Network
"The Digitally Empowered™ 10-module course includes "Identifying Credible Resources and Websites," "Using Social Media to Connect and Learn," "The Benefits of Your Patient Portal," and "How to Use Telemedicine." (Also available in Spanish.)
>> Communicating Effectively with Healthcare Providers — The Empowered Patient Coalition
Topics include "Doctor Visits," "Speaking Up About Your Medical Care," "Second Opinions," "Preparing for Surgery," "Preventing Infections," "Medication Safety," and "Medical Errors."
>> Creating Your Own Private Website for Support from Friends and Family — Cancer Support Community
"By creating your own private website [at no cost on MyLifeline.org], our goal is to help you find hope, regain control, document your journey, and receive social, emotional, and practical support from friends and family throughout the treatment process and beyond." Optional features include a blog and a helping calendar. Can select website coordinator.
>> Deciding to Quit Smoking — National Cancer Institute
"Smokefree.gov provides free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking." A large variety of topics includes "Preparing to Quit," "Create Your Quit Plan," "Smokefree Apps," and "Talk to an Expert [Phone Support]." (Also available in Spanish.)
>> Monitoring Your Cancer Treatment — American Cancer Society
"These worksheets can help you keep track of your side effects and medications so that you can better communicate with your health care team about them." Includes chemotherapy and radiation side effects worksheets, pain diary, and medicines list.
>> Protecting Yourself Against Health Fraud Scams — U.S. Food and Drug Administration
"Health fraud scams refer to products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure diseases or other health conditions, but are not proven safe and effective for those uses." Page links go to safety alerts and recalls as well as to topics such as tainted dietary supplements and info on how to report problems. (Also available in Spanish.)
Determining Advance Directives for Medical Care — National Cancer Institute
"Advance directives [Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney] are legal papers that tell your loved ones and doctors what kind of medical care you want if you can't tell them yourself." Fact sheet provides answers to key questions and a link to state-specific advance directives. (Also available in Spanish.)
Discussing Medical and End-of-Life Care Wishes — The Conversation Project
"A public engagement initiative with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to help everyone talk about their wishes for care through the end of life, so those wishes can be understood and respected." All guides are available to download and print for free. Topics include "Your Conversation Starter Guide," "Your Guide to Choosing a Health Care Proxy," "Your Guide to Being a Health Care Proxy," "Your Guide for Talking with a Health Care Team," and "What Matters to Me Workbook."
>> Finding or Keeping Your Job — CancerAndCareers.org
"Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplace, by providing expert advice, interactive tools, and educational events." (Also available in Spanish.)
>> Managing the Costs of Cancer Care — American Society of Clinical Oncology Topics in this free booklet include "Understanding the Costs," "Questions to Ask," and "Health Insurance." (Also available in Spanish.)
>> Navigating Cancer Rights in Employment, Insurance, and Finances — Triage Cancer
"Free one-on-one help in the areas of health insurance, disability insurance, employment, finances, medical decision-making, estate planning, and more" through its Navigation Program. Also, many items under both the resources and materials tabs, such as "Cancer Rights Guide," "A Toolkit for Navigating Finances After Cancer," and "State Laws."
>> Resolving Cancer-Related Legal Issues — Cancer Legal Resource Center
"CLRC is the only national dedicated center for patients, survivors, caregivers, and health care professionals to access confidential cancer-related legal information and resources at no cost [...] on matters like maintaining employment through treatment, accessing healthcare and government benefits, taking medical leave, and estate planning."
"CancerCare for Kids program provides free, professional support services for parents and children affected by cancer, as well as information about helping children understand cancer." Their booklet includes "Talking About Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis" and "Keeping Lines of Communication Open."
"Family Connections program is dedicated to supporting cancer patients who are parents and their children. Our comprehensive resource offers guidance, information, and resources." Topics on website include "What Children Want to Know," "How to Explain Treatment," and "How to Help Children Cope."
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