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Advocating for Yourself Through Lung Cancer Education

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Published on April 21, 2015

The Patient Empowerment Network's (PEN) Director of Communications, Carol Preston spoke with care partner, Richard Mansell who attended the lung cancer event with his wife, a lung cancer patient. Richard remembers the days when cancer was kept in a shroud of secrecy, even from the patient. In commenting on the public nature of this event, he noted the audience was "uplifted in hope, in survivorship, and in getting the message." To anyone who is considering whether to attend our next event, Richard reminds them that being a care partner is a daily job that requires patience and a healthy dose of self-advocacy, best found in communicating with other care partners.

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Transcript | Advocating for Yourself Through Lung Cancer Education

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Carol Preston:

I'm here with Richard Mansell, who—we have just wrapped up our wonderful lung cancer town hall in Tampa, Florida.  Richard lives in Tampa and wondering what you thought of the whole thing. 

Richard Mansell:

Well, I think that these kinds of sessions are absolutely outstanding. I could just feel this whole audience being uplifted in hope and in survivorship and getting the message from all these professionals.  I mean it's just opened medicine up tremendously.

They want you to know everything.  There's no more secrecy, as you used to be never told what was going on. 

Carol Preston:

Well, it's a different world we know with doctors and patients in that relationship.  But your wife is with—is the one suffering from lung cancer. 

Richard Mansell:

She's the one that had the lumpectomy. 

Carol Preston:

She looks great. 

Richard Mansell:

She does, and she's having CT scans every three months. And she's had her chemo, and so we're living day-to-day as they tell us.  

Carol Preston:

So what is your message for patients who are either on the fence about a program like this or educating themselves, going to that medical school that Dr. Carbone talked about? 

Richard Mansell:

Well, it is—number one, it is a day after day after day, this becomes your life.  This becomes your job.  Number two, you're not going to die this afternoon, so you do have time, as they mentioned. 

And number three really is advocacy.  You really must be an advocate for yourself, and your family should be one too, and you want to get the best care you can get.  And you must be patient.  My big…

Carol Preston:

As a patient. 

Richard Mansell:

As a patient.  And my biggest excitement when I was turned loose back 10 years ago was I'd be left alone. But they have a survivorship program here, which I'm in, so I never lose contact because that's a scary thing to be divorced from your past like that.

Carol Preston:

And maybe that's the most important message of all.  The communication, not just with your healthcare team but with people in your situation.  There's an awful lot of support and advocacy that you can—and strength that you can gain from each other. 

I'm Carol Preston and please remember that knowledge can be the best medicine of all. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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