Colorectal cancer organizations share what patient empowerment means to their area

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA) is a proud member of IAPO and supporter of Patient Solidarity Day. The GCCA is the only international nonprofit patient organization dedicated to colorectal cancer. The vision of the GCCA is to create a global community in which people around the world can unite and fight this disease with one unified voice. The GCCA has been an active voice in the patient, healthcare, and regulatory communities on issues that are important to patients.

On Patient Solidarity Day, the GCCA led a social media campaign on patient empowerment. The GCCA reached out to prominent colorectal cancer organizations, advocates, medical providers, and survivors to share what patient empowerment means to them. The GCCA shared these responses, which included a variety of inspirational definitions. One survivor said patient empowerment means “being treated as though I have a right to ask questions, state a preference and provide meaningful input into what caring for my cancer and survivorship looks like.” A doctor wrote, “giving patients all the possible tools to take care of themselves and make well informed health decisions.” Another survivor said, “it means standing together to have a voice in policies that affect us, our treatments and our survival.”

The GCCA recognizes that patient education is one of the most effective ways to prevent and diagnose colorectal cancer, as well as many other diseases. To support global patient empowerment through knowledge on Patient Solidarity Day, the GCCA shared resources for patients in multiple languages. Resources included information on treatment and screening, as well as ways to connect with other patients online.

The GCCA’s work in patient empowerment through knowledge is far from over. In line with Patient Solidarity Day’s 2017 theme, the GCCA is working on making accurate, clear, and relevant information on colorectal cancer more accessible around the world. This is particularly important in the many countries who have no formal screening programs, access to treatments, awareness campaigns, or patient voice to call for change.

According to the GCCA, patient empowerment means that patients fully understand their condition and are enabled to be active decision-makers in their own care. Empowered patients also have the ability to have a say in patient-centered policy. Patients are the experts in what it is like to live with their condition, and their voice deserves to be heard on Patient Solidarity Day and beyond. The GCCA is excited to continue to support Patient Solidarity Day in the years to come!

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