November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. It is also National Family Caregivers Month and a fitting time to re-focus on having a support system in place throughout every stage of living with cancer. At Novocure, we believe that no one living with cancer should go through it alone – from those with the rarest cancers to those with the most frequently diagnosed cancers, affecting millions of people around the world.
Every year, patient advocacy groups work to expand their role to improve education, disease awareness, and advance cancer care at every level. Many of these groups work to evolve healthcare delivery, improve access to care and treatment, shape clinical trial design and provide a great deal of information and education to support the cancer community.
Patient Support. Patient advocacy groups are committed to helping people living with cancer, their families and their caregivers navigate the cancer experience, which can be complex, scary and stressful, especially for those who are newly diagnosed. Some of the ways they provide support are through:
- Educational Resources: Advocacy groups provide education on the condition and treatment options, information on clinical trials, tools and resource kits, psychosocial support – both in-person and virtual – as well as sharing financial assistance resources.
- Support Groups for Patient and Caregiver: These groups work to support the diverse needs of anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis by providing timely care and appropriate education as needed.
- Community Connection: Whether virtual or in-person, advocacy groups offer many ways for people living with the disease to engage with others in the community. From virtual webinars to telephone support and in-person events, connecting with others to share stories and experiences, is more accessible (and more important) than ever.
Cancer Research. Research is essential to advancing cancer care. The advocacy community helps to support and fund research to improve the lives of people living with cancer. Some advocacy organizations conduct research, others may provide patient perspective to research institutions and healthcare companies as they design clinical trials, and many provide education and raise awareness about the importance of trials. The objective is to increase access and participation in clinical trials that hold the promise of making a true difference in the lives of people with cancer.
Public Policy. Patient advocacy groups often are on the front lines of lobbying legislatures. They engage with government at the national and state levels, and through grassroots events to fight for changes in policy, including issues such as those that may improve access to cancer care, aim to eliminate health disparities and achieve cancer health equity. Patient advocates also work with legislators and regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to share perspectives from the patient voice, including challenges living with the disease and how to improve access to care and advance research.
While awareness months are a time to reflect on the amazing progress being made, Novocure is inspired throughout the year by the cancer community around the world in their dedication to redefine living with cancer. We collaborate with global, national and regional patient advocacy groups and professional organizations to address unique and community-wide needs that improve cancer care and quality of life. If you or a loved one is living with cancer, you are not alone. To explore advocacy partners such as CancerCare or Cancer Support Community that can help, please visit https://www.novocure.com/advocacy/.