Patient and Caregiver Perspectives on Cancer Care Communication

Telling the Stories of Patients and Caregivers

Stories are transformational. They allow us to see and experience life from a different vantage point and can help bring about change. Patient and caregiver perspectives are essential to the conversation about patient-centered communication. The stories on this page give voice to personal experiences that underscore the need for patient-centered approaches that empower patients and their families to navigate their cancer journey.

The following stories are from remarkable individuals who have shared their cancer journeys to educate and encourage patients. These stories are also a roadmap for physicians and other clinicians that seek to learn more about how they can build trusting and healing relationships and deliver high-quality cancer care. Each story is a three-part feature. We hope that you will stop by often to read the latest update.

Cancer survivor and advocate visits Capitol Hill


Cancer Survivor, Advocate

Wenora is a vivacious cancer survivor that is living with Lynch syndrome, a genetic condition that increases the likelihood of many types of cancer. As an engaged patient (who has survived multiple cancer diagnoses), Wenora understands the importance of quality relationships with her healthcare team. Wenora’s story underscores the essential nature of patient-centered communication that builds trust, rapport, commitment, and mutual understanding through communication.

From her initial diagnosis to her referral and subsequent journey with her oncologist, regular communication and follow-up have assured Wenora of her oncologist’s care and commitment. As a result, the physician’s office is a safe space where Wenora is encouraged to ask questions and express concerns, whether great or small. This invitation for open and frequent communication extends beyond the walls of the oncologist’s office to questions she may have after an appointment or while viewing her online patient profile.

Genuine and regular communication, along with competent care, empowers patients to navigate their care by understanding risks, informing treatment decisions, and managing the emotional aspects of a diagnosis.

Communication, I would say, is probably vital, number one... top of the list.
– Wenora, Cancer Survivor & Advocate

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