In this month’s Teal Talk, MOCA’s Community Support Program Manager Stefanie Gliniany shares advice on how to advocate for yourself with your health care team.
Every journey begins with a single step. No matter where you are in your cancer journey, a step you can take now is feeling more empowered by being your own advocate. Advocating for yourself simply means taking an active role in your diagnosis and treatment plan.
Here are some steps to get started as a self-advocate:
-Educate yourself about your diagnosis. Ask your care provider to recommend reliable resources or websites.
-Ask questions. Prepare a list of questions before your next appointment.
-Feel confident about your choices and consider getting a second opinion.
-Ask about and take advantage of other services offered at your clinic or doctor’s office such as counseling, patient navigation services, palliative care, etc.
-Communicate with your team. Ask for what you need and express your preferences and concerns.
Start with one step. When you’re actively working alongside your health care team, it can help make you feel more in control about your care and treatments.