In my hopes to see the best of care for my own family members I often found myself putting cancer care givers on a pedestal as they were the ones that seemed to provide hope to the Herculean task of caring for a cancer patient.

However truth be told; cancer patients and families need to understand that cancer care at all levels is a very human experience with the entire human potential for error.

As with many cancer patients and family members understandably fear is the driving force, which not surprisingly can be the impetus for poor choices.

It is at the time of diagnosis when personal leadership is critical for all involved.

Awareness and knowledge will be the key to guiding patients to making best choices.

Which is why it is critical to keep a vigilant watch and when you can”t be on watch to insure you have an advocate that will.

Even with the closest of communication with the best of advocates mistakes do happen.

The gaps in cancer care can be reduced if there is clear picture and a mutual understanding between the cancer patient and caregivers.

If you have a choice in your cancer care team, make sure you have someone that is available, responsive, and supportive and without question your advocate.

Bill Couzens, Founder


Dr. Rock Positano
Posted April 4, 2008 | 07:44 AM (EST)

It’s the dreaded diagnosis no one wants to hear. Actor Patrick Swayze is the latest public figure waging the fight of his life. He’s one of more than 1.4 million people who will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year.

For patients and their loved ones, initial reactions of shock and fear are only the beginning. “Despite my knowledge of the health care system, it was basically a crisis situation,” said Robin Frank, a former hospital administrator whose mother was diagnosed with cancer while in a New York City hospital. “Many of the doctors left much to be desired. There was no compassion, they often appeared rushed and gave few options. I quickly found out that people with cancer must be their own advocates or have someone who will advocate on their behalf.”

Bad advice or careless patient skills on the part of doctors and nurses can compound the trauma and damage done by the disease itself, according to Frank and patient advocates.

In addition to coping with an overwhelming diagnosis, patients often face a huge burden in navigating the health care system, says Ann Wax, a registered oncology nurse and patient advocate. However, there are steps they can take to make sure their needs are met and they are armed with enough information to determine their plan of care, she says. It starts with choosing the right doctor……….SEE MORE ON LINK