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Ask the Advocates: Self-Advocacy

We asked our advocates, "What does self-advocacy mean to you?" and here is what they had to say.

What self-advocacy means to me


"Self-advocacy for me began with a cancer diagnosis and an ongoing process through treatment. My communication with my cancer care team is crucial. My questions, feelings, and side effects have to be known to my oncologists."


"To me, self-advocacy means using my voice to communicate efficiently and voice my concerns and opinions to my medical care team about my care and needs to effectively treat my lung cancer in a patient-centered manner. It also means getting another opinion(s) if something doesn't feel right."


"Self-advocacy to me means:

  • Doing research to understand my disease and treatments
  • Staying informed of promising new treatments
  • Do not hesitate to ask questions of healthcare professionals when I don’t understand something and proactively ask about potential next treatments."


“To me, self-advocacy means actively advocating for your own needs, rights, and well-being. It involves being your best advocate by speaking up, expressing your thoughts and concerns, and actively participating in decisions regarding your care. It also means working collaboratively with your care team, including doctors, therapists, and support networks, to ensure that your needs are met. Additionally, self-advocacy extends beyond personal boundaries, as it also involves supporting and helping the community in any way possible within your capabilities.”


"Self-advocacy means taking an active role in my own healthcare journey. It involves speaking up for my needs and concerns, seeking information, and making informed decisions about my treatment and well-being. It means not just being a passive recipient of care but actively engaging with my healthcare team, asking questions, and ensuring that my voice is heard. Self-advocacy empowers me to be a partner in my own care, helping me navigate the challenges of living with lung cancer and working towards the best possible outcomes for my health and quality of life."

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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