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6 Tips for Getting Your Doctor to Understand You

Posted on August 15, 2013

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What do you do when you’re trying to get through to your doctor, but you think he or she isn’t hearing you? What if you’re trying to advocate for yourself, but you feel like your doctor doesn’t understand your concerns? Dr. Leana Wen, M.D., will be presenting on the importance of integrative care and patient advocacy at our National Conference in Miami this October. Check out this teaser for what’s sure to be a stellar session and let’s get pumped for Miami!

Tip #1: Answer the doctor’s pressing questions first. Many doctors are so accustomed to relying on a checklist of questions that they have to get these answers before they move on. Help them out and answer these questions. If the doctor wants you to describe the location of your chest pain, describe it (“it’s in the middle of my chest, right here”). If she wants to know what you took to make it better, tell her (“I took an aspirin. It didn’t help”). Read more

Can You Spot a Fake?

Posted on August 13, 2013

Dr. Laura Porter, MD, stage IV colon cancer survivor and Colon Cancer Alliance Patient Advocate Medical Consultant.

If you follow cancer-related news, you know staying up to speed with the constant pour of innovations and research can be overwhelming. On top of that, it can be hard to tell whether information on the web is legitimate or if it’s fallen victim to media hype. To help you tease out what’s promising versus what’s propaganda, we asked Dr. Laura Porter how she determines what a good study is. Here’s what she said:

Start by asking questions.

  •  Where is the information published and who reviewed it? Many times information in the popular press has gone through several hands before being published and the message can become muddled. Go to the original publication (there is usually a link), look at the abstract and read the introduction and the conclusion.
  • Who did the study? Research can be done by a single office, institution or by a large group. Beware of information NOT coming from large cooperative groups such as ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group). Large multi-center clinical trials are usually conducted through ClinicalTrials.gov and are more scrutinized than smaller single institution studies.
    Read more

Tacoma Undy 5000: A Star is Born

Posted on August 12, 2013

Tacoma Undy 2013 Hope Star

For the past five years, Michelle Meeker has been cancer-free. To celebrate this salient milestone, Michelle participated in the recent Tacoma Undy 5000 5K like she never had before — as the signature Colon Cancer Alliance Hope star. While Michelle had participated in the Undy as a runner and speaker in the past, this year she brought happiness and inspiration to Undy participants as our ever-smiling mascot. At the end of the event, teams and individuals gathered for an emotional ceremony as Michelle emerged from the costume to share her story. More on Michelle, from Michelle:

Diagnosis & Treatment  

In May 2008, my family and I were preparing for my sister’s wedding.  The week prior to the wedding, I had a colonoscopy scheduled due to some nagging issues.  I figured it would be a comma in our current life pace to do the test, and then back to usual.  It turned out to be a semicolon pause, pardon the pun.  During my colonoscopy, we discovered the reason for my issues was a 4-5 mm tumor embedded in my sigmoid colon. I must say, if you are going to hear the words, “You have cancer,” the best way is right after a colonoscopy when the Fentanyl is at its peak.  They should, however, also give a dose to your designated driver, since they are the first to truly absorb the news.  Read more

Join Us – We’ve Entered the Blogosphere!

Posted on August 6, 2013

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We know what you’re thinking:

The Colon Cancer Alliance is all about a future free of colon cancer. That’s all well and good, but I’m ready to kick colon cancer’s a** RIGHT NOW. So what can I do?

We’re here to tell you that your wait is up – you can kick some colon cancer booty by living your best life, and this blog is your answer! Read more

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