We understand, as patients and as caregivers, how frightening a cancer diagnosis can be: how it can upend your life, leaving you feeling like you’re barely treading water.
From our research at Harvard Business School of how people navigate their cancer treatment (and what they wish they had known sooner), we have developed four steps that all people with cancer can take to give them the best chance at beating the disease.
The single most important thing you can do is to see an oncologist who specializes in your particular type of cancer and has experience treating a lot of other patients like you.
Patients with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, who were treated at hospitals that saw a large number of myeloma patients were less likely to die than patients who were treated elsewhere, research has found.
You’re most likely to find an expert like this at any of the 70 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers throughout the United States, which are recognized for their excellent care and research contributions.
One study found that lung cancer patients who didn’t receive this treatment lived about six times shorter than patients who did.
This is especially true for patients with cancers so rare that a standard of care has not yet been established and patients with advanced cancer who have exhausted treatment options.
We’ve teamed up with representatives from five cancer organizations — LUNGevity, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation — to launch the Right Track, a new cross-cancer initiative to inform patients of steps they can take from the moment of diagnosis.
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