At some point during your cancer journey, you may require some person or institution to step in and talk to professionals on your behalf. You may also need someone to coordinate practical necessities during your treatment and recovery. Taking care of your cancer may require many activities you have never considered doing in the past. They include researching, asserting your decisions with health care professionals, finding support resources, sometimes arguing with insurance companies, searching out professionals that treat your cancer, finding financial resources, upholding your legal rights, and discussing your case with potential treatment teams. At times, you may be physically or emotionally incapable of doing these activities. That is when you may need an advocate.
An advocate can be a person that you trust; like a spouse, parent, child, or best friend. It might be a social worker assigned to your case at your local medical institution, or a trained professional knowledgeable in the situation you are experiencing. A fellow cancer survivor may step in and offer some help. And, of course, there are organizations that offer advocacy for cancer patients in your local community or on the internet. Many are listed on the cancer list pages of this website for your particular cancer. Here are some general resources:
Cancer Action Now - Compassionate Drug Use Assistance
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS)
CancerNet - How To Be A Cancer Advocate
Childhood Cancer Advocates