Your Own Best Advocate: Self-Advocacy
You deserve the very best. Sometimes, though, you need to ask for it. You can empower yourself to get the care that you deserve by acting as your own, personal advocate. Take an active role in your healthcare and ask your doctors important questions. You’ll give yourself the power of good information and assume a role as a healthcare advocate for yourself — and all young women.
Some important questions to ask your doctors:
- Do I qualify for any studies or clinical trials?
- Do studies prove that the protocol you suggest works in women my age with similar pathology?
- Why do you recommend this treatment or protocol? What other options do I have?
- Can you tell me about the treatment’s side effects?
- See our Questions to Ask for more suggestions.
When you ask questions like this, you take the powerful step of reminding physicians that they are treating a whole person, not just a disease. Using your voice yields benefits for many. You have the ability to teach doctors that young women affected by breast cancer face different issues than their post-menopausal counterparts. Our unique challenges include dating, fertility, workplace issues, quality of life and survivorship past five years.
By speaking to your doctors about these issues, you empower them to treat all their young breast cancer patients as more than just patients.